The biography of Sisto Badalocchio (1585 - 1647)

Sisto Badalocchio Rosa (1581 - c. 1647) was an Italian painter and engraver of the Bolognese School, recognized today as an important figure in bring the artistic styles of the Italian Baroque to northern Italy.

He was born in 1581 in Parma and he died at Bologna in 1647. He wasn’t necessarily the best painter of his era but he was deserving of the attention that he earned. Perhaps he even deserved to earn more than what he received. After all, he was the creator of various masterpieces.

He worked first under Agostino Carracci in Bologna, then Annibale Carracci, in Rome. Badalocchio's first independent, signed work is an etching after the antique statue of the Laocoön (1606). The following year, together with his fellow student, Giovanni Lanfranco, he published a series of 51 etchings after Raphael's frescoes in the Vatican Logge. The Raphael's Bible series is his best known work as an engraver.

He worked with Annibale till 1609, then moving back to Parma. Annibale's death in 1609 precipitated Badalocchio's return to Emilia. There in 1613 he created his most important work as a painter, the frescoes in the cupola and pendentives of San Giovanni Evangelista, Reggio Emilia, a reinterpretation of Correggio's work in the church of the same name in Parma. He executed the decoration of the cupula and pendentives of the church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Reggio.

During the years 1614-17 Badalocchio was again in Rome. Under the influence of Lanfranco, with whom he collaborated on several projects, including the decoration of the Palazzo Mattei di Giove (1615), Badalocchio adopted a more vibrant treatment of light and a freer application of paint. Frescoes with mythological subjects in the Palazzo Verospi, Rome, and the Entombment, a nocturnal scene painted on copper (Patrizi collection, Rome), probably also date from this period.

Though he often cooperated in fresco painting with Lanfranco, for example in Annibale designed series the San Diego Chapel in Giacomo degli Spagnuoli (1602-7) and in Palazzo Costaguti (Nessus and Deianeira), Badalocchio never received the same recognition as his peer.