(b Florence, 28 Nov 1784; d Florence, 13 Sept 1855).
Italian painter and teacher. A leading exponent of academic Romanticism in Italy, he initially received drawing lessons from his friend Luigi Sabatelli. From 1786 he attended the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence, where he studied under Giuseppe Piattoli (c. 17431823), Jean-Baptiste Desmarais (17561813) and Pietro Benvenuti. In 1811 he was made the Accademias Aiuto Maestro di Disegno e Figura, and in 1812 he won the Concorso Triennale. In 181516 he made the first of several visits to Bologna, where he admired and studied its 17th-century painters. This marked the beginning of his romantic turn. Paolo and Francesca (1816; ex-Alari priv. col., Milan; engraved by Giuseppe Cozzi in 1832), commissioned by the Conte Sante Alari of Milan, was the first Florentine work depicting a literary Romantic subject. Probably inspired by Sabatelli, it reflected a new Romantic ferment in the arts after the departure of the Bonapartes; two plays and a novel on the same theme were published around 181416. In 1816 Bezzuoli was made professor and became Sottomaestro di Disegno. He travelled to Rome and Naples in 181819 and to Venice in 1823. In Rome he encountered foreign artists, copied Raphaels School of Athens (Rome, Vatican, Stanza della Segnatura) for Conte Paolo Tosi from Brescia, and drew from Michelangelo, the Bolognese masters, and from nature in the Roman Campagna.