Pietro Antonio Rotari:
Italian painter , (b. 1707, Verona, d. 1762, St. Petersburg)
Italian painter. His artistic career began as a youthful distraction, but his talent quickly became apparent, and he entered the studio of Antonio Balestra in Verona, remaining there until he was 18. He spent the years 1725-7 in Venice and then moved c. 1728 to Rome, where he stayed for four years as a student of Francesco Trevisani. Between 1731 and 1734 he studied with Francesco Solimena in Naples before returning to Verona, where he set up his own studio and school. His most notable early independent works are multi-figured altarpieces (e.g. the Four Martyrs, 1745; Verona, church of the Ospedale di S Giacomo), which emulate 17th-century Roman and Neapolitan works. However, he also studied the smaller, more intimate paintings of Roman Baroque artists, and these influenced his later works. He fell victim to the wanderlust that appears to have been endemic to 18th-century Venetian painters, and c. 1751 he travelled to Vienna, where he was able to study works by Jean-Etienne Liotard, whose clean pictorial smoothness impressed him. He later moved to Dresden china oil painting Pietro Antonio Rotari Queen Maria Josepha in Polish costume.