Paintings | 17th Century | Gian Battista Cipriani | Pair of Round Paintings with "Putti" | Artwork profile

Diam. 26,5 cm (entrambi)
Oil on canvas


Pair of Round Paintings with "Putti"

Gian Battista Cipriani

The subject
The two small round paintings displayed here depict two scenes of ‘putti’ playing together. One shows three little boys gathered around a book, while the other depicts three little girls dancing in classical style garb. This type of subject could hold an allegorical meaning but often, especially in the period between the late Baroque and early Rococo, scenes with children were purely decorative, as appears to be the case of the two little round paintings shown here.

The painting

Giovanni Battista Cipriani was an exponent of late Italian Baroque painting, for which he was most well known in England. Florentine by birth though his family came from Pistoia, he began his artistic career at the workshop of the English painter, Ignatius Hugford, in Florence.

During a later trip to Rome he met the architect Sir William Chambers and the sculptor Joseph Wilton, both Englishmen, who brought him with them to London. It is in this city that Cipriani gained appreciation for his delicate and decorative artwork to such an extent that he would later become one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Art together with Joshua Reynolds .

He was able to move between various techniques such as painting, engraving and furniture decorating, and often the decorative elements he loved to use were little scenes with cherubs and nymphs, according to the taste of the times.