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Carlo Carloni

1686 Scaria
1775 Scaria

The Italian painter, sketcher and fresco artist Carlo Innocenzo Carloni was born in present-day Lanzo d’Intelvi on Lake Lugano in November, 1686. He was the second son of the stuccoer Giovanni Battista Carloni. As a twelve-year-old, Carloni followed his father to Germany for education as a stuccoer, but he soon switched to painting. Later on he became an apprentice to the fresco painter Giulio Quaglio (1668–1751) and worked for him on his decorations in Venice, Udine, and in 1702-03 in the cathedral of Ljubljana.
From 1699–1702, Carlo Carloni was in Venice for four years. Here he was particularly influenced by Tiepolo (1696–1770) and attended the academy. After 1706, Carlo Carloni pursued further education in Rome with Francesco Trevisani (1656–1746). In 1708 he worked in Innsbruck for the Ursuline Church. In 1712, he finished the "St. Stephan" for the parish church in Kirchberg near Wagram and the altarpiece "St. Anna Teaches Mary" in the Carmelite Church in Linz. Carlo Carloni worked as a fresco artist at the court in Passau. Around the year 1715, the artist was called to Vienna by Eugen von Savoyen (1663–1736) and moved there.
In 1716, Carloni finished a main work, the "Apotheosis of Prince Eugen" together with Marcantonio Chiarini (around 1652–1730) in the hall of mirrors in the Upper Belvedere. After that, he painted the ceiling picture in the Daun-Kinsky Palace, also with Chiarini. The frescoes in the Hetzendorf Castle near Vienna also belong to this Vienna period. In addition, "Carloni was commissioned in 1717 to do the decorations in the council hall of the province building in Linz, which he carried out with Francesco Massenta. In the year 1719, the decoration of the cupola of the Trinity Church in Stadl-Paura began, also with Massenta. At the same time, Carloni produced frescoes in the castle chapel of the Württemberg residential palace in Ludwigsburg (until 1721), the vault of the Paulus Chapel in the Michaelis Church in Vienna as well as the pendentive and the cupola of the sacramental chapel in the cathedral at Breslau. Between July 1721 and 1723, Carloni worked again in Vienna at the Upper Belvedere together with Chiarini and Gaetano Fanti (1687–1759). The work was interrupted by frequent visits to his homeland. The artist completed paintings for example in the church Balerna (Tessin), in S. Fedele in Como and the paintings and frescoes in the Santuario del Crocifisso, also in Como. In the year 1729, Carloni created ceiling frescoes in the parish church of Groß-Siegharts and the castle chapel in Schlosshof. Following that, he moved to Prague in order to carry out the decoration of the main stairway and two rooms in the Clam-Gallas Palace. In 1730, Carloni was called back to the Württemberg court in Ludwigsburg. Here he finished his most elaborate fresco decorations in the new corps de logis and in the ancestral gallery up to 1733. At the same time, he was working for the Württembergian royal household in Heinsheim Castle (1731) and for the Benedictine Abbey Weingarten (1731-32). In 1734 the artist began the ceiling fresco in the ballroom of his residence in Ansbach.
In 1737, Carlo Carloni returned to Italy. In the years 1738–44/45, he created frescoes in the side aisles of the cathedral at Monza, in 1745 – 47 the church S. Pietro in Tagliuno together with the stucco artist Muzio Camuzzi (1717–59), and in 1747 the church of S. Antonio (today S. Rita) in Bergamo. In the years 1745–46, Carloni’s most mature work in Italy was done on the walls in the great hall of the villa of Conte P. Lecchi in Montirone/Brescia.
At the end of the 1740’s and the beginning of the 1750’s, the artist was once again given a large commission in Germany: for the Prince-Elector Clemens August I of Bavaria (1700–61), he painted ceiling frescoes in the Schloss Augustusburg at Brühl in two more rooms as well as the chapel. After his commission in Brühl was finished, Carloni found himself in Lodi and then in Brescia. In Brescia he created allegorical frescoes in the stairway and decorated different rooms in the Palazzo Gaifami. In addition to this, the frescoes in Maria degli Angeli belong to Carloni’s most important decorations. During the same creative period, the decorations in S. Michele all’Arco and in the cathedral at Bergamo and many more were created. During his entire career, Carloni was an artist much sought after in European courts, and he belonged to the best-paid painters of his time.
Carlo Innocenzo Carloni died in the place of his birth, Scaria, on May 17, 1775.

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