Cornaro crest


Bernardo Strozzi

Born: c. 1581, Genoa

Died: 1644, Venice

Bernardo Strozzi in his youth did not foresee an artistic career. A native of Genoa, he entered a Capuchin monastery there when he was 17 years old. However, upon the death of his father he found it necessary to leave monastic life in order to support his mother and unmarried sister. By 1633 he had arrived in Venice where, despite being foreign born, he swiftly became one of the leading artists of the period.

Perhaps his acceptance was propelled by his portrait of the composer Claudio Monteverdi, a pioneer of modern opera, who had a wide circle of influential patrons in Venice. Strozzi painted many of the leading Venetians of his day, including Doge Francesco Erizzo and Cardinal Patriarch Federico Corner (G-17).

2002 C. I. Gable