Giuseppe Maria Mitelli

1634 - Feb 8, 1718

Giuseppe Maria Mitelli was an Italian engraver and painter of the Baroque period. He was the son of the prominent quadratura painter Agostino Mitelli. The younger Mitelli was best known for his prolific engravings, in a great variety of subjects, including scenes from grand epics to mundane page boards for games of chance using dice, Tarot cards, and an Iconophor with anthropomorphized alphabets. He also engraved genre subjects, allegories, moralistic scenes, but even some bizarre cartoons that could be interpreted as sometimes provocatively subversive, or presciently revolutionary, and sometimes imaginatively bizarre. He often depicted dwarfs engaged in buffoonery or satirical depictions of aphorisms, which recalls the Bambocciate di nani or arte pigmeo of genre painter Faustino Bocchi.
Giuseppe studied or worked under Francesco Albani, Flaminio Torri, Guercino, and Simone Cantarini; he had a long career of over 60 years in Bologna. Mitelli was a flamboyant character who was also a painter and sculptor. He enjoyed a broad set of physical activities including fencing, hunting, fishing, tennis, gymnastics, and acting.
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