Pietro Antonio de Rotari

Born: 1707, Verona
Died: 1762, St Petersburg

Italian painter, engraver, teacher. Studied under Robert van Auden Aerd and Antonio Balestra in Verona (1723–25), Giovanni Battista Piazzetta and Johan Richter in Venice (1725–27), Francesco Trevisani in Rome (1727–32) and Francesco Solimena in Naples (1732–34). Returned to Verona (1734) and opened a private school of painting (1735). Worked for churches and palaces in Bergamo, Brescia, Padua, Reggio Emilia, Rovigo, Udine and Verona and fulfilled private commissions for Cardinal Silvio Valenti Gonzaga, Karl Theodor, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, and Queen Louise Ulrike of Sweden (1735–50). Awarded the title of count of the Venetian Republic (1749). Worked as court painter of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in Vienna (1750–52) and King Augustus III of Poland in Dresden (1753–55). Invited to St Petersburg by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (1756). Painted portraits of members of the imperial family and court (1756–62). Opened a private studio at his house on Bolshaya Morskaya Street, where he taught Alexei Antropov and Fyodor Rokotov (1758–59). Painted small canvases of character heads, which were later used to decorate the Picture Hall of Peterhof Palace, Rotari Study in the Chinese Palace at Oranienbaum and Arkhangelskoe Palace outside Moscow.

Random articles