Click for BBB rating See our Privacy Policy

Welcome to Spaightwood Galleries, Inc.

120 Main Street, Upton MA 01568-6193; 800-809-3343; email:

You can follow us on Facebook at
Last updated: 6/23/2019
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Old Master Drawings and Prints / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
Gallery News

Old Master Drawings and Prints: Simoni Cantarini (Pesaro, 1612-1648)

North Italian Illuminated Manuscript / Italian Old Master Drawings: An Overview / Italian School, 16th-Century Drawings
Michelangelo Buonarotti (After) / Raphael / Giulio Romano / Perino del Vaga / Marcantonio Raimondi / Parmigianino
Titian (after) / Andrea Schiavone / Tintoretto / Veronese / Taddeo Zuccaro / Federico Zuccaro / Alessandro Casolani
Jacopo Palma il Giovane / Cherubino Alberti / Luca Cambiaso / Annibale Carracci / Ludovico Carracci

Italian School, 17th-Century Drawings / Bolognese School / Giovanni Baglione / Matteo Rosselli / Ercole Bazzicaluva
Baldassare Franceschini called Il Volterrano / Pier Francesco Mazzuccelli, il Morazzone / Odoardo Fialetti / Simone Cantarini
Domenichino / Francesco Albani / Giovanni Lanfranco / Guercino / Pier Francesco Mola / Antonio Busca

Italian School Printmakers, 15th-17th Centuries: Venetian School, c. 1497 / Raphael School / Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio
Marcantonio Raimondi / The Master of the Die / Anea Vico / Agostino Veneziano / Nicholas Beatrizet
Michelangelo Buonarotti (After) / Giulio Bonasone / Giovanni Battista Franco /Girolamo Fagiuoli / Cherubino Alberti
Titian (after) / Tintoretto (after) / Parmigianino / Giorgio Ghisi / Diana Scultori / Annibale Carracci / Ludovico Carracci
Agostino Carracci / Simone Cantarini / Elisabetta Sirani / Gerolamo Scarsello

Netherlandish School, 15th-17th-Century Drawings / Flemish School, 17th-Century
Bernaert van Orley / Lucas van Leyden / Maarten de Vos / Jan Baptiste de Wael / Abraham Bloemaert
Peter Paul Rubens / Philipp Sadeler / Nicolaes Maes / Rembrandt School

Netherlandish Printmakers 16th-17th Centuries: Lucas van Leyden, Maarten van Heemskerck, Cornelis Cort
Philips Galle, Abraham de Bruyn, Hans (Jan) Collaert, Adriaen Collaert, Karel de Mallery, Theodore Galle, Hendrik Goltzius
Julius Goltzius, Jacob Matham, Jan Sanraedam, Maarten de Vos, Jan Sadeler, Aegidius Sadeler, Raphael Sadeler
Crispin de Passe, Magdalena de Passe, Wierix Brothers, Rembrandt, Rembrandt School, Jan Lievens, Jan Joris van Vliet,
Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck
German Drawings: Hans Sebald Beham / Virgil Solis / Hans von Aachen / Joseph Heinrich Roos
German 16th century printmakers: Heinrich Aldegrever, Jost Amman, Hans Sebald Beham, Hans Brosamer, Hans Burgkmair,
Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Durer, Albrecht Durer (After), Hans Holbein (After), Hopfer Brothers, Georg Pencz, Hans Schäufelein,
Virgil Solis, Wolfgang Stuber

French Drawings: Charles de La Fosse / Etienne Parrocel / François Boucher / Jean-François de Neufforge / Mouricault
French printmakers: Etienne Delaune / Rene Boyvin /Thomas de Leu / Jean Cousin the Younger / Jacques Callot
Abraham Bosse / Sebastien Bourdon / Claude Gelle "le Lorraine" / Jean LePautre
Claudine Bouzonnet Stella / Antonette Bouzonnet Stella / Gabriel Perelle

Biblical Subjects / Mythological Subjects / Allegorical Subjects / Historical Subjects

Adam and Eve / Noah / Lot and his Daughters / Joseph / Samson / Jephthah and his Daughter
David / Judith / Esther / Susanna and the Elders
De Vos Old Testament Women 1 / De Vos Old Testament Women 2 / De Vos New Testament Women
The Virgin Mary / Mary Magdalen / The Woman taken in adultery / The Crucifixion / The Lamentation / The Resurrection

19th-Century Drawings / 20th-Century Drawings
Simone Cantarini was born in 1612 in Pesaro, in the Marches, a region which was a crossroads for artists from many parts of Italy. Cantarini began his artistic training quite young, probably 1623-1625, in the studio of Giovanni Giacomo Pandolfi (?1570-1640?), a painter of religious works who combined the local naturalism with the mannerist style of the late sixteenth century. After a brief trip to Venice, Cantarini moved to the shop of Claudio Ridolfi (?1570-1644), a student of Paolo Veronese (1528-1588). From Ridolfi he received training in the Venetian manner that was also a strong current in the local tradition, as well as a deep appreciation for the art of Federico Barocci (1535-1612), with whom Ridolfi had worked in Urbino. In about 1629 Ridolfi left Pesaro, forcing Cantarini to continue his studies on his own. In addition to prints by the Carracci, the young artist turned his attention increasingly to Barrocci and also to the caravaggesque, yet very personal, art of Orazio Gentileschi, who executed several works in the Marches during the 1610s, and of Giovan Francesco Guerrieri (1589-1657) from nearby Fossombrone.

As Malvasia recounts, the most significant event of Cantarini's youth was the arrival, probably in 1632, of Guido Reni's (1575-1642) Madonna and Child with Saints Thomas and Jerome in Pesaro Cathedral (now Pinacoteca Vaticana). Not content to study Guido's style from this work alone, Cantarini went to the church of San Pietro in Valle in nearby Fano to copy and draw after Guido's Giving of the Keys to Peter (now in the Louvre, Paris), completed 1626, and Annunciation of 1620-21. The young artist quickly assimilated Guido's style and soon received important commissions, including the Saint Peter Curing a Lame Man for San Pietro in Valle. Malvasia writes that while visitors might mistake this for a work of Guido, Cantarini himself felt that it lacked a "certain Renian grandeur and nobility." Cantarini's desire to go to Bologna to study in Guido's studio was given additional impetus by an attempt on his life resulting from amorous exploits, which, Malvasia intimates, were inspired by a too careful study of the lascivious prints by the Carracci.

Upon his arrival in Bologna, probably in 1634 or 1635, Cantarini presented himself in Guido's studio as a painter of little training. His abilities soon became evident. Although Guido recognized that Cantarini was already a fully formed painter, he made the young man his most trusted pupil and secured him many commissions. Eventually, however, Cantarini's infamous pride and unbridled tongue came to the fore and alienated the master and the entire studio. One point of friction was Cantarini's refusal to use his considerable talents as an etcher to propagate Guido's designs, claiming that his own were equally worthy of publication. The decisive break came in 1637 when Cantarini publicly repudiated Guido's relatively minor criticism of his Transfiguration for the Barberini church at Fortezza Urbana (now Brera, Milan). From this point on, Cantarini's relations with his patrons also deteriorated rapidly, to the point where his commissions fell off almost entirely. In 1639 Cantarini is documented at his sister's wedding in Pesaro. It must have been shortly thereafter, in 1640 or 1641, that he made a brief trip to Rome. Following Guido's death in 1642, Cantarini returned to Bologna, where he maintained a successful studio until his death in 1648 following a stay in Mantua. His behavior and criticisms of the Gonzaga collection created a scandal and it is suspected that he was poisoned by an angry rival. [This is an edited version of the artist's biography published, or to be published, in the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue]

Selected Bibliography: Pietro Bellini,  L’Opera Incisa di Simone Cantarini (Milano: 1980); Andrea Emiliani, Simone Cantarini detto il Pesarese (Bologna: Electa, 1997); Andrea Emiliani et al, Simone Cantarini nelle Marche (Venezia: 1997); Mario Mancigotti, Simone Cantarini il Pesarese (Pesaro: 1975).
After long blocks of text, there will be huge open spaces. Please persevere: images and texts will follow
Simoni Cantarini (Attributed), The Holy Family with St. John the Baptist. Pen and brown ink on cream laid paper. Initialed in ink lower right. Fleur-de-lys watermark. For Cantarini's etching of the same subject, see The Illustrated Bartsch 42: Italian Masters of the Seventeenth Century p. 78, n. 11. Additional studies for the etching can be seen in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan (inv. n. 124) and the Louvre (inv. n. 7079 bis). Image size: 202x301mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.
Simoni Cantarini (Attributed), Saint Apollonia. Red chalk drawing on cream laid paper laid down on heavy laid paper with a hand-drawn decorative border about the drawing. Inscribed "Simon da Pesaro" in ink lower center recto and "Apollonia" on the backing sheet beneath the drawing. According to an inscription on the bottom of the decorative mount and the mat verso, it was formerly owned by John Skippe. Image size: 270x173mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.
Simoni Cantarini, John the Baptist in the Wilderness. Red chalk with white chalk heightening on light tan laid paper. On the verso is a study of an angel above a reclining body. Image size: 230x227mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.
Holy Family with Sts. Elizabeth & John the Baptist. Original etching, c. 1640. Signed in the plate lower left: "Simon da Pesaro Inu [= "invented this" or made up the composition]." Cantarini's etching style was the dominant factor in the creation of the 17th century Italian etching school. Rare. Though this piece is not listed in Bartsch or Bellini as by Cantarini, it comes with a letter from Diane de Grazia, Curator of Italian Renaissance drawings and prints at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, endorsing it as autograph. In the section on etchings in Andrea Emiliani, Simone Cantarini detto il Pesarese (Bologna: Electa, 1997), Anna Maria Ambrosini Massari attributes this work to Giuseppe Antonio Caccioli (Bologna, 1672-1740). Although clearly acknowledged as having been invented by Simon da Pesaro, as Cantarini was often referred to in the 17th century, it is hard to believe that it was not also executed by him, so perfectly does it capture his etching style. TIB 43 lists this as the first of three etchings attributed to Caccioli. Like ours, the image in this volume shows no etchers name: "Simon da Pesaro inu /f." Image size: 132x115mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information..

On my 24-inch monitor, this is about actual size.
Holy Family with St. John (Bartsch 131). Original etching. Good impression on laid paper. Signed in the plate lower left: "S. da Pesaro." Collector's mark on rear: "St D (? Stephen Delkers, L. 761) Image size: 130x91mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

On my 24-inch monitor, this is about actual size.

Spaightwood Galleries, Inc.

To purchase, call us at 1-800-809-3343 (1-508-529-2511 in Upton MA & vicinity) or send an email to
We accept AmericanExpress, DiscoverCard, MasterCard, and Visa.
We also accept wire transfers and paypal.

For directions and visiting information, please call. We are, of course, always available over the web and by telephone (see above for contact information). Click the following for links to past shows and artists. For a visual tour of the gallery, please click here. For information about Andy Weiner and Sonja Hansard-Weiner, please click here. For a list of special offers currently available, see Specials.

All works are sold with an unconditional guarantee of authenticity (as described in our website listing).

Go back to the top of this page.

Visiting hours: Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday noon to 6:00 pm and other times by arrangement.
Please call to confirm your visit. Browsers and guests are welcome.