Benedetto Luti


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(1666–1724). Florentine painter who trained under Anton Domenico Gabbiani (1652–1726) before moving to Rome in 1690 and working there under the protection of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. His earliest work is God Cursing Cain (1692; Kedleston Hall, Derbys.). He worked for many of the leading families in Rome and was involved in the decoration of the Palazzo de Carolis where he made a ceiling painting, an Allegory of Diana. He was profoundly influenced by the Roman classical tradition; this is reflected in his Investiture of S. Ranieri (1712; Pisa Cathedral), and S. Carlo Borromeo Administering Extreme Unction to Victims of the Plague (1713; Schleissheim, Neue Schloss). He was equally successful as a portrait painter, both oil paintings and pastel drawings. And from as early as 1703 he was making charmingly coloured chalk figure drawings in the style of Correggio that were widely collected in the 18th century. A pastel Self-Portrait (Paris, Louvre) dating from c. 1720–2 was made for the Roman dilettante Nicola Pio's collection of artists' portraits; it too exploits the subtlety inherent in the medium. Luti was influential as a teacher; his pupils included William Kent, Carle van Loo, and Panini and he influenced Batoni. He was also respected as a connoisseur of old masters, a collector of drawings, and a dealer and agent.

From The Oxford Companion to Western Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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