Giustiniani, Márchese Vincenzo

(1564-1637)
   Italian art collector and connoisseur, best known as the patron of Caravaggio, a number of whose works he owned. Among these was the rejected version of Caravaggio's St. Matthew and the Angel (1602; destroyed in 1945) painted for the Contarelli Chapel, Rome, and the Amor Vincit Omnia (1601-1602; Berlin, Gemäldegalerie). Of Genoese descent, Giustiniani's family were the sovereigns of Chios, a station they lost in 1566 when the island was overtaken by the Turks. In that year, the young Giustiniani and his family moved to Rome where he eventually took up banking and became treasurer to the papacy. By the early decades of the 17th century, he and his brother, Cardinal Benedetto, had amassed a vast art collection that included approximately 600 paintings and 1,200 ancient sculptures. Giustiniani was also a writer whose essays on painting, sculpture, architecture, music, travel, and other topics were quite influential. In his expositions on painting, he was more democratic than Giovan Pietro Bellori when it came to assessing the merits of contemporary masters. While Bellori adulated the classicism of Annibale Carracci and balked at Caravaggio's naturalism and the Mannerists' distortions and ambiguities, Giustiniani felt that they all had something important to contribute to the art world.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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