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Summary Article: Castiglione, Giovanni Benedetto from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Italian painter and etcher. He studied under Anthony van Dyck, his vigorous baroque style illustrated by such works as The Animals Entering the Ark (Palazzo Bianco, Geneva) and The Crib (church of Sta Luca, Genoa). His etchings show the influence of Rembrandt.

He was known in Italy as ‘II grechetto’ (the Little Greek) and in France as ‘Le Bénédette’. He was influenced early on by Rubens and van Dyck, both of whom worked in Genoa. Rembrandt was the main influence on his etching style, and one of the most remarkable features of his work is how greatly for an Italian he was influenced by foreigners. He concentrated on religious themes and his later work shows a deep mystical fervour. He frequently worked in an original technique of thin washes of oil paint on paper.

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