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Cherubino Alberti

Cherubino Alberti

*  1553 Sansepolcro
† 1615 Rom

Cherubino Alberti counts among the most important graphic artists of Mannerism and of the early Baroque period in Italy.
Cherubino Alberti was born in the Tuscan town of Borgo S. Sepolcro in 1553, however, he was mainly active in Rome, where he even became director of the prestigious Academy of S. Luca. Additionally, he was ennobled by Pope Clement VIII.
As an engraver Cherubino Alberti has earned greatest glory: It is proven that he had been occupied with this technique since 1568, accordingly, Agostino Carracci, who was four years younger than Cherubino Alberti, can not have been his teacher, as it is occasionally claimed. It is more likely that he was trained by Cornelis Cort. The Dutchman worked as reproduction graphic artist for Titian and was founded an engraver school in Rome. His characteristic style of the "swelling line" allowed the reproduction of differentiated light and dark values and an increased volume. A reflection of this technique can be observed in works by Cherubino Alberti, whose style is softer and shows less contrast, however, it is more decorative and elegant. Cherubino Alberti monogrammed most of its sheets "CAB " (= " Cherubinus Alberti Burgensis").
Cherubino Alberti created most of his graphic works in the 1570s and 1580s; some sheets were republished in the 17th century. His oeuvre was increased by paintings only in his later creative period, Cherubino Alberti was active as fresco painter at the Quirinal Palace, the Sala Clementina of the Vatican or in S. Maria sopra Minerva. His last work for which there is proof, is the fresco with the "Ark of the Covenant" in S. Maria in Via, dated 1614. A year later Cherubino Alberti died in Rome and was buried in S. Maria del Popolo.
As far as themes are concerned, Cherubino Alberti was dedicated to reproduction engravings, which were highly esteemed at early modern times. He ingeniously rendered works by Michelangelo, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Polidoro da Caravaggio and Federico Zuccari Taddeo in engravings. Numerous sheets after own designs by Cherubino Alberti, including allegories, religious scenes and important portrait engravings are also in existence. He portrayed, for instance, Pope Gregory XIII and in 1593 the king in Naples. Today works by Cherubino Alberti are in the world's most important collections of graphic art.