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Pietro Berrettini da Cortona

Cortona, Pietro Berrettini da (pyāˈtrō bār-rĕt-tēˈnē dä kōrtôˈnä) [key], 1596–1669, Italian baroque painter and architect, b. Cortona. The Barberini family commissioned him to paint frescoes for the vast ceiling of their palace in Rome, which resulted in the exuberant Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power (1633–39). The work, filled with swirling clouds and figures, was one of the most influential of baroque decorative schemes. It is a paramount example of baroque illusionism. In Florence he executed frescoes of the Four Ages and the rich ceiling decoration in the Pitti Palace, the Allegories of the Virtues and Planets. In these seven rooms the ceilings are unified with the structure of the rooms by stucco ornamentation. Pietro's pupil Ciro Ferri (1634–89) completed the work in the Pitti Palace. Almost equally ornate were Pietro's early architectural designs, such as that for the church of SS. Martina e Luca (1635–50) in Rome, which Pietro finished at his own expense. Later he turned to a greater simplification and massiveness in the facades of Santa Maria della Pace (1656–57) and Santa Maria in Via Lata (1658–62). His architectural works are among the most significant of the baroque period.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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