Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Pietro Berrettini

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

(Called Pietro da Cortona)

A distinguished Italian painter, architect, and writer, b. at Cortona, in Tuscany, 1 November, 1596; d. at Rome, 16 May, 1669. He studied first under his uncle, Filippo Berrettini, and then at Florence under Andrea Commodi. At the age of fifteen he left that city for Rome, and entered the studio of Baccio Ciarpi, a Florentine painter. There he applied himself to the study of the works of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Polidoro, to that of the antique sculptures and notably of the bas-reliefs of the column of Trajan. While still very young he attracted the attention of Cardinal Sacchetti, who became his protector, and for whom were painted the first two of his works, "The Battles of Alexander" and "The Rape of the Sabines". Thereupon, Pope Urban VIII gave him the order to decorate a chapel of the church of Santa Bibiana. Such was his success there that he received the commission to paint what proved to be his most celebrated work, the ceiling of the great salon of the Barberini Palace, representing, in allegory, the history of that family. He then designed some mosaics for the dome of St. Peter's . After a trip through Lombardy and a sojourn at Venice, he went to Florence, where the Grand Duke Ferdinand II employed him to decorate the Pitti Palace. There he painted several important frescoes, but left without completing the series, angered by the actions of jealous rivals. The compositions included "Clemency of Alexander to the Family of Darius", "The History of Masinissa", "The Continence of Cyrus", and "The Firmness of Porsenna". The work was completed by his pupil Ciro Ferri. On his return to Rome Berrettini received many important commissions, acquiring a great reputation. He executed a number of frescoes in churches, as well as easel pictures. He became wealthy, and Pope Alexander VII created him a Chevalier of the Order of the Golden Spur. His principal pupils were Francesco Romanelli, Ferri, Testa, Giordano, and Borgognone. He is buried in the church of San Martino, of which he was architect, and to which he left a large sum of money.

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.