Bernardo Strozzi

(1581 - 1644)
Bernardo Strozzi The Cook About 1630 - 1640


Despite being born to impoverished parents, Strozzi became one of the most accomplished and celebrated Genoese artists of his generation. His rise to fame was by no means smooth. Following some initial artistic training under the painter Pietro Sorri, by 1599 Strozzi had decided to become a Capuchin monk. In 1609 he was allowed to leave the monastery to provide for his ill mother and unmarried sister. Strozzi chose painting as his full time profession and was very successful, but when his mother died in 1630, the monks demanded that he return to complete his duty to the holy order. To avoid imprisonment Strozzi fled to Venice, where his popularity escalated. He painted portraits, including the doge’s, altarpieces, genre scenes, allegories, and won many important public commissions.

Glossary terms

  • A French term that denotes different types of paintings, such as landscape, portrait or still life. The phrase ‘genre painting’ is used specifically to describe works depicting everyday scenes.