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Giovanni Francesco Romanelli
As a student of Pietro da Cortona, Giovanni Francesco Romanelli was given a prestigious artistic debut by assisting the decoration of Rome’s Palazzo Barberini. Like his teacher, Romanelli was inducted into a group of artists supported by Pope Urban VIII and his nephew, Cardinal Francesco Barberini, whose patronage provided Romanelli with commissions throughout the churches and palaces of Rome and the Vatican. Characterized as espousing a classicized, restrained version of his master’s Roman Baroque style, Romanelli’s work possessed the richly decorative values of his teacher—often embellished with gilded stucco work—and yet with a subdued sense of energy. Upon the exile of the Barberini family, Romanelli accompanied his patrons to Paris, where he became a prominent artistic influence, commissioned to decorate the National Library and the summer apartments of the Queen Mother, Anne of Austria, within the Louvre.