Born in the Marchigian town of Camerano in 1625 he was a child prodigy who became, as a teenager, a pupil of Rome’s most prominent painter, Andrea Sacchi (1599–1661) who introduced him to key patrons such as Pope Urban VIII Barberini. Throughout his career Maratti’s works synthesized the influence of respected classicizing artists such as Raphael, Carracci and Domenichino into an up-to-date rhetorical baroque idiom as can be seen in The Sacrifice of Noah (Ball State University Museum, Muncie, Indiana) and the Nativity of 1655 painted for the gallery of Pope Alexander VII Chigi in the Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome. Such was Maratti’s success that he quickly attracted an international clientele which included British aristocrats making the Grand Tour such as the diarist John Evelyn, for whom he painted a still life, and Sir Thomas Isham, whose portrait by Maratti still hangs in the family seat (Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire). But of all his foreign patrons the most illustrious was the French ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV, for whom he painted, appropriately, Apollo Chasing Daphne (Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels). After the death of his friend and rival artist Pietro da Cortona (1596–1669) Maratti was the undisputed chief painter in Rome, a position he maintained until his death, aged 88 in 1711.
Books on Carlo Maratti
Stella Rudolph and Ian Kennedy, Carlo Maratti, exh. cat. New York, 2017.
Evelina Borea and Carlo Gasparri, L’Idea del Bello: Viaggio per Roma nel Seicento con Giovan Petro Bellori, exh. cat., Rome, 2000.
Stella Rudolph, Niccolò Maria Pallavicini: l’Ascesa al Tempio della Virtu Attraverso il Mecenatismo, Forli, 1995.
Stella Rudolph, ‘An Instance of Time thwarted by Love: Maratti’s portrait of an unusual lady’ in Labyrinthos, no. 21-24, 1992-1993.
Giovan Pietro Bellori, The Lives of Modern Painters, Sculptors and Architects, 1672, trans. Alice Sedgwick Wohl, New York, 2005.