Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione
Born in Genoa, Castiglione studied under two local painters before working in van Dyck's studio. A skilled and innovative artist, Castiglione invented the monotype and is thought to have also been the first to create a soft ground etching. He is most famed for his Flemish influenced landscapes, - in which processions of animals are depicted as illustrative of the journey of the patriarchs.
Travelling to Rome and Naples in the 1630's, it was in the former that Castiglione was first attracted by the early romantic style of Poussin and elements of Classical sculpture. By the end of this decade his etchings were informed by a knowledge of Rembrandt unique in Italy at that time. Producing large religious paintings from 1640-47 in Genoa, Castiglione developed a wider subject matter etching and painting mysterious allegories and a fervent interest in the theme of time. Returning to Rome in 1647 he remained there for four years before entering the service of the Duke of Mantua where he later died in 1670.