Giovanni Bottani

Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Giuseppe Bottani, from Cremona, was a high-level 18th century artist who studied first in Florence, and then in Rome. From 1769 he taught at the newly established Academy of Mantua, under the direct mandate of Empress Maria Theresa. His painting style, though sometimes didactic and usually addressed to religious themes, is graceful, interpreting a trend that progressively turns from the classic towards the neoclassical. The painting that appears here is a self-portrait cultivated with precision and strength. This theme of the painter painting himself looking at his reflection in a mirror, under our very eyes, was a great success in the history of art. For example, let us remember the self-portrait of Antonio Canova, a few decades later than this. The sharpness of the face, the decisive look, the love of details, the strokes so confident as to be almost scornful, are all elements that make this work a fine example of the era. Bottani's brush illustrates the right display of ingenuity, linking the displayed portrait to the fertile theme of the relationship between the creator and his audience.


  • Title: Selfportrait
  • Creator: Giovanni Bottani

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