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Marco Benefial - Italian Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Marco Benefial (1684 - 1764)

Amidst the development of the Baroque style and naturalism, Marco Benefial stayed loyal to his interests in the classical tradition of Annibale Carracci and Raphael. One of his paintings was rejected for an exhibition at the Pantheon in 1703. Then in 1720, Benefial successfully protested Pope Clement XI’s decree allowing only Accademia di San Luca members to teach drawing, resulting in the rulings removal. A papal commission for a Roman church in 1718 granted him the title of Cavaliere. Benefial painted numerous frescoes, altarpieces, and portraits. At the age of 57, he was admitted to the Accademia di San Luca. However, he was expelled in 1755 for dismissing the group’s members as ignorant and untalented.

His paintings portrayed tangible human figures, with complex treatment of space, and luminous, warm colors. Along with the altarpieces and frescoes, he also painted many portraits. Because he partnered with some inferior artists who subsequently received credit, some of his paintings have been frequently misidentified.

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