Giovanni Battista Gaulli (8 May 1639 - 2 April 1709), also known as Baciccio or Baciccia (Genoese nicknames for Giovanni Battista), was an Italian artist working in the High Baroque and early Rococo periods. He is best known for his grand illusionistic vault frescos in the Church of the Gesù in Rome, Italy. His work was influenced by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Gaulli was born in Genoa, where his parents died from the plague of 1657. He initially apprenticed with Luciano Borzone. In mid-17th century, Gaulli's Genoa was a cosmopolitan Italian artistic center open to both commercial and artistic enterprises from north European countries, including countries with non-Catholic populations such as England and the Dutch provinces. Painters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck stayed in Genoa for a few years. Gaulli's earliest influences would have come from an eclectic mix of these foreign painters and other local artists including Valerio Castello, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, and Bernardo Strozzi, whose warm palette Gaulli adopted. In the 1660s, he experimented with the cooler palette and linear style of Bolognese classicism.
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