201. Tommaso Laureti (1530 – 1602)

Painter and architect born in Palermo, Laureti was called “IL Siciliano” (the Sicilian). Born into a family of artists, his first documented works are set in Bologna where he worked initially as a prospective painter. His lost fresco of the ‘Apotheosis of Alexander on a ceiling in the Vizzani palace was much appreciated by his contemporaries as an example of illusionistic perspective.

In 1563 he was commissioned to design and build the Neptune Fountain in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna -for the bronze statue of Neptune, he himself contacted the Giambologna. Laureti had to have particular expertise in hydraulic works as he was also entrusted with the realization of the Fontana Vecchia, leaning against the town hall (Palazzo d’Accursio), and the power system of additional two fountains.

Neptune Fountain, Bologna
Neptune Fountain, Bologna

Additional works attributed to Laureti include his project for 1573-75 Villa Guastavillani in Barbiano ( 1573-75), the Triptych of the church of San Giacomo Maggiore and the altarpiece of the Madonna in Glory with Saint Cecilia, Saint Agatha and William of Aquitaine in the same church, St. Jerome in the desert and a fresco of the Last Supper of Belshazzar (Ferrara), now lost, the fresco of the ceiling of the Hall of Constantine in the Vatican palaces (1852). Between 1586 and 1594, he executed frescoes for the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitol (the Captains room) in Rome where he realized the altarpiece with the Martyrdom of Santa Susanna for the homonymous church that stands out for its dramatic and intense coloring strength. Laureti was among the most prominent artists in Rome, a member of the Congregation of the virtuous of the Pantheon and in 1593 one of the founders of the Accademia di San Luca.

Triumph of Christianity, Vatican Palace
Triumph of Christianity, Vatican Palace

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