Domenico Fetti

Domenico Fetti (Rome, 1589 – Venice, April 16, 1623), was an Italian Baroque painter active mainly in Rome, Mantua and Venice.

Born in Rome to a little-known painter, Pietro Fetti, Domenico is said to have apprenticed initially under Ludovico Cigoli, or his pupil Andrea Commodi in Rome from circa 1604–1613. He then worked in Mantua from 1613 to 1622, patronized by the Cardinal, later Duke Ferdinando I Gonzaga. In the Ducal Palace, he painted the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. The series of representations of New Testament parables he carried out for his patron’s studiolo gave rise to a popular specialty, and he and his studio often repeated his compositions.

In August or September 1622, his feuds with some prominent Mantuans led him to move to Venice, which for the first few decades of the seventeenth century had persisted in sponsoring Mannerist styles (epitomized by Palma the Younger and the successors of Tintoretto and Veronese). Into this mix, in the 1620s–30s, three “foreigners”—Fetti and his younger contemporaries Bernardo Strozzi and Jan Lys—breathed the first influences of Roman Baroque style. They adapted some of the rich coloration of Venice but adapted it to Caravaggio-influenced realism and monumentality.

In Venice, where he remained despite pleas from the Duke to return to Mantua, Fetti changed his style: his formalized painting style became more colorful. In addition, he devoted attention to smaller cabinet pieces that adapt genre imaging to religious stories. His group of paintings entitled Parables, which represent New Testament scenes, are at the Dresden Gemäldegalerie. He influenced Leonaert Bramer.

His painting style appears to have been influenced by Rubens. He would likely have continued to find excellent patronage in Venice had he not died there in 1623 or 1624. Jan Lys, eight years younger, but who had arrived in Venice nearly contemporaneously, died during the plague of 1629–30. Subsequently, Fetti’s style would influence the Venetians Pietro della Vecchia and Sebastiano Mazzone. His pupils in Mantua were Francesco Bernardi (il Bigolaro) and Dionisio Guerri.

Bacco and Arianna in Naxos, around 1611, a collection of Banca Agricola Mantovana
Meditation, circa 1618, oil on canvas, 179×140 cm, Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia
Malinconia, circa 1620, Paris, Louvre
Parchment of precious pearl, table, 61 × 44
Parade of lost drachma, table, 75 × 44, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
David with the head of Goliath, Leinwand, 160 × 112
Good Samaritan, table, 60 × 43
Master of the vineyard, table, 62 × 44
Apotheosis of Redemption, fresco of apse and vault of the Cathedral of Mantua
Santo Martyr, Mantua, Museum of Doge’s Palace
Margherita Gonzaga receives the model of the church of Sant’Orsola, 1619-1623, oil on canvas, 245×276 cm, Mantova, Museo Ducale Palace
Sorrowful, Mantua, Ducal Palace Museum
San Matteo, Mantua, Museum of Ducal Palace
Saint with scepter and crown, Mantua, Ducal Palace Museum
Multiplication of Bread and Fish, 1616-1618, Oil on Canvas, 356×853 cm, Mantua, Museum of Ducal Palace
Trinity, fresco
Escape to Egypt, table, 73 × 82
Martyrdom of a saint (Sant’Agnese?), Table, 66 × 43
Tobias and angel, table, 67 × 84
Christ in the garden, oil on canvas, 90.5×55.5, Prague, National Gallery
Elijah triumphs over the prophets of Baal, oil on the table, 61.2×70.5 Hampton Court, Royal Collection
Sage seed parlor, oil on table, 60,8×44,5, Prague, Castle Gallery
Portrait of astronomer, oil on canvas, 98×73,5, Dresden, Gemäldegalerie
Portrait of an actor, oil on canvas, 105,5×81, St. Petersburg, Hermitage
Retrospective portrait of Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, oil on canvas, 99×88, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum
St. Peter’s Vision, Oil on Table, 66×51 Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum
Ecce Homo, Florence, Uffizi Gallery
Ecce Homo, 1615, Lendinara (Rovigo), Duomo di Santa Sofia
David, circa 1620, oil on canvas, Venice 175×128, Academy Galleries
Jesus Christ appears in San Martino in dream, oil on canvas, 280 x 191, Correggio, Basilica of San Quirino