MANINI, GAETANO

(b. about 1730, d. about 1780-90)

History Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Known as the Chevalier Manini, was a native of Milan, where he was born about 1730. He came to England before 1755, as two enamelled miniatures in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, one of "George III," the other of "Edward Augustus, Duke of York," bear his signature with that date. He painted chiefly historical and mythological subjects, and began to exhibit with the Free Society in 1761 and with the Society of Artists in 1762. Edwards ("Anecdotes of Painting") says: "His compositions were extremely frivolous and his colouring gaudy," and Walpole calls his picture of "The Sun entering Leo," in which George III as the Sun is drawn by a lion and a unicorn, "ridiculous." In 1772 he exhibited "The Establishment of the Academy of Arts," in which George III is shown receiving the homage of the Academicians as their patron, with the figures of royal princes and a portrait of the artist himself. He was invited to Ireland, where he spent a few years towards the end of the century. A "Portrait of Philip Hussey, the Painter," by him was in the possession of Alexander Mangin in Dublin. Manini returned to London, and his name occurs as an exhibitor with the Society of Artists down to 1775. He died between 1780 and 1790.

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