* 1582 Mantua oder Ostiano (nahe Cremona)
† 1622 Rom
Bartolomeo Manfredi doubtlessly was one of the key figures of international Caravaggism.
Bartolomeo Manfredi presumably was born in the duchy of Mantua or in Ostiano in1582. During his early years he was briefly active in the workshop Roncalli-Pomerancio.
There is proof for Bartolomeo Manfredi's activities in Rome around the turn of the century. It is presumed that Bartolomeo Manfredi was working in Caravaggio's workshop for some time, as his art is strongly geared at Caravaggio's Naturalism.
After Caravaggio had to leave Rome in 1606, Bartolomeo Manfredi made a strong effort to fill his shoes. And Bartolomeo Manfredi even added a few things to the art of his teacher: He worked out his favorite mythological and religious themes, created concrete types of figures and images and established a new form of genre painting in half figure on large formats. His idol Caravaggio gained a new touch on Bartolomeo Manfredi's canvasses. Many Caravaggisti even followed Manfredi's variant more than the art of Caravaggio self.
Works by Bartolomeo Manfredi, all of which are easel paintings, are highly sought-after and were often copied, which has led to problems regarding the attribution up until today, especially since the artist did not sign his works.
Bartolomeo Manfredi stayed in Rome for all of his life. Between 1610 and 1619 he lived in the parish S. Andrea delle Fratte, in 1618 he was housemate and "servitore" of Francesco Guarini, also a painter.
Bartolomeo Manfredi had inspired a great number of successors, both north and south of the Alps. Among his direct students were Nicolas Regnier and Gerhard Seghers. Many his paintings were exported to Holland where they coined the local (Utrecht) Caravaggism.
Bartolomeo Manfredi, who was a member of the Accademia di San Luca, died in Rome in 1622.