(b Mantua, 23 Sept 1690; d Mantua, 18 Aug 1769).
Italian painter. He was the son of the goldsmith Giovanni Bazzani
and trained in the studio of Giovanni Canti (1653–1715). Giuseppe
was a refined and cultivated artist (Tellini Perina, 1988) and as a
young man profited from the rich collections of art in Mantua,
studying the works of Andrea Mantegna, Giulio Romano, 16th-century
Venetian painters, especially Paolo Veronese, and Flemish artists,
above all Rubens. His earliest works, for example the Assumption
(Milan, priv. col., see Caroli, pl. 20), reveal an affinity with
contemporary Venetian painters such as Giovanni Battista Piazzetta,
Federico Bencovich and Andrea Celesti, but Bazzani rapidly absorbed
the influence of Antonio Balestra, Domenico Fetti and most of all
Rubens and Veronese. The inspiration of the last two artists is
apparent in a number of works that may be dated in the 1720s and
early 1730s. These include the Miracles of Pius V, the Conversion of
a Heretic and the Healing of a Madwoman (all mid-1720s; Mantua, Mus.
Pal. Ducale) painted for the church of S Maurizio in Mantua;
paintings of St John the Evangelist, St Mark and St Luke (all late
1720s; Vasto di Goito, parish church); and the Baptism, the Ecstasy
of St Aloysius Gonzaga (1729) and the Ecstasy of SS Francis and
Anthony (1732; all Borgoforte, parish church). Seven paintings of
scenes from the Life of Alexander the Great (Mantua, Mus. Pal.
d’Arco), which date from c. 1738, were painted for Giacomo Biondi,
one of the artist’s first patrons, and are distinguished by their
theatrical splendour and awareness of a rich artistic tradition.
This period culminated in the Baroque drama of the Delivery of the
Keys to St Peter (1739; Goito, parish church), Bazzani’s first