Benedetto Gennari II

Artist (Italy)
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Benedetto Gennari II (October 19, 1633 – December 9, 1715) was an Italian painter active during the Baroque period.

Belonging to a dynasty of painters, Gennari was a student of Guercino, the grandson of Benedetto Gennari, and older brother of Cesare Gennari. His father was Ercole Gennari and mother Lucia Barbieri. He trained at the workshop of the celebrated master, Guercino, hence his style was always very close to that of his teacher. Upon Guercino's death, Gennari inherited his studio which he ran with his brother Cesare.

With a restless spirit, Gennari traveled to Paris in March 1672 to work for the court of King Louis XIV. The French nobility received him with open arms, and the multitude of commissions encouraged him to prolong his stay. In September 1674, he moved to London where he became court painter to King Charles II of England and his successor James II. He painted allegorical and mythological scenes, and above all portraits. Catherine of Braganza and Mary of Modena, Catholic wives of Protestant kings, commissioned artworks for their private worship.

Gennari had to leave England when King James was dethroned; he followed James's court to Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1689. By 1692, he was back in Bologna.

Gennari was an outstanding portraitist who eventually developed a style far removed from the principles taught in the school of Guercino. In the mature phase of his style, he came to acquire characteristics of the art of northern Europe, which he learned through his travels. In 1709, he was one of the founding members of the Accademia Clementina. [source]