Pietro della Vecchia
Italian, 1603 - September 8, 1678
Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Pietro della Vecchia is an Italian painter who, until 1984, was widely known as Pietro Muttoni because of a misunderstanding by an art historian: Muttoni was the name of a collection that included Vecchia’s work. Della Vecchia, who was active in the Baroque period, was renowned for his ability to imitate 16th-century styles, and particularly for his use of Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro. His earliest known works were two representations of St. Francis, who was the subject of several subsequent paintings—Vecchia was known primarily for his religious images and portraits. His influences varied and shifted throughout the course of his career; while Carlo Saraceni and Jean Leclerc remained constant inspirations for Vecchia, the artist’s style reflected at different times reflected his interest in Padovanino and Bernardo Strozzi.

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