Ansaldo (Giovanni) Andrea
(b Voltri, 24 Aug 1584; d Genoa, 18 Aug 1638). Italian painter.
His first teacher was Orazio Cambiaso, son of Luca Cambiaso, from
whom he learnt the principles of design and acquired his proficiency
in the use of colour. Ansaldo’s appreciation of colour must also
have owed something to Veronese, whose works he copied as a student.
Orazio Cambiaso’s large canvas of St James Converting Josiah (c.
1600; Genoa, Oratory of S Giacomo delle Fucine) is one of many
sources for Ansaldo’s multi-figured and highly detailed
compositions, set in a deep architectural space. The elegant figures
and subtle tonalities of his early works are derived also from the
work of Tuscan Mannerist artists in Genoa, such as Pietro Sorri
(1556–1621), Ventura Salimbeni and Aurelio Lomi (1556–1622). The
sumptuous draperies and strong chiaroscuro contrasts of Giovanni
Battista Paggi, who had adopted the Tuscan manner after a period in
Florence, influenced Ansaldo, as did the rich impasto of Bernardo
Strozzi and Simone Barabbino (b 1585). In the 1620s the work of the
more progressive Lombard artists Cerano and Giulio Cesare Procaccini,
who visited the city between 1618 and 1621, had an impact on his
art. Ansaldo was also indebted to the realism of the colony of
Flemish artists who worked in Genoa at this time. From such rich
sources he created a style justly described as ‘elegant in design,
well founded in perspective, intelligent in sotto in sù, expressive
in effects, and soft and gentle in colouring’ (Soprani, p. 200).