Guido Cagnacci (1601-1663)

Cagnacci was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque period, belonging to the Bolognese School. Born in Santarcangelo di Romagna near Rimini, he died in Vienna in 1663. He worked in Rimini from 1627 to 1642. Prior to that he had been in Rome, in contact with Guercino, Guido Reni and Simon Vouet. He may have had an apprenticeship with the elderly Ludovico Carracci. His initial output includes many devotional subjects. But moving to Venice under the name of Guico Baldo Canlassi da Bologna, he renewed a friendship with Nicolas Regnier, and dedicated himself to private salon paintings. This allies him to a strand of courtly painting, epitomized in Florence by Francesco Furini, Simone Pignoni and others. In 1650, he moved to Venice. In 1658, he traveled to Vienna, where he remained under patronage of the emperor Leopold I.

Besides with his religious paintings Cagnacci had good success with naked women. So it's not astounding that his historical subjects, above all Cleopatra and Mary Magdalene are depicted in this manner. But despite he chose a historical setting there are always the same Italian 17th century women to be seen in very similar costumes. So history is here still a source which provides stories which could have happenes every day.

Cagnacci: The Death of Cleopatra

The Death of Cleopatra (1658)