Stefano Torelli

Born: Bologna - 1712
Died: St. Petersburg - 1780?

Like his more famous compatriot Pietro Antonio Rotari, Torelli studied painting in Naples with Francesco Solimena. In 1740 he was invited by the future king of Poland Augustus III to Dresden where he produced altar-pieces and interiors and painted figures in Canaletto's twenty-nine views of Dresden (1741). He continued to work in a variety of disciplines in various German cities, and in 1762 he was invited to St. Petersburg where he became a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts. He painted portraits and engraved caricatures, but arrived about a decade too late for his high rococo style to be truly successful. His most famous works are a pair of portraits of Catherine the Great and the wall and ceiling paintings on mythological themes that he executed in the Chinese Palace at Oranienbaum. He remained in St. Petersburg till the end of his life.

Works: Portrait of Countess Anna Alexandrovna Chernyshova (Hermitage Museum), Diana and Endymion (Hermitage Museum), Portrait of Empress Catherine the Great (State Russian Museum), Hall of Muses (Chinese Palace, Oranienbaum), Grand Hall (Chinese Palace, Oranienbaum)