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Cignani, Carlo, b. 1628, the most distinguished of three Bolognese painters of the same name, was a count and belonged to a noble family; he was the pupil of Albani and perhaps the most celebrated of the students, but at the same time he was strongly influenced by the teaching of the Carracci and by the works of Correggio. His first important work was the ornamentation for Cardinal Farnese of the great salon of his palace at Bologna. In the same city he painted scenes in the style of Correggio representing events in Bologna at the time of the plague. They are in the church of San Michele in Bosco, and each picture is supported by two angels of remarkable beauty. He executed a fine piece of interior decoration in the palace of the Duke of Parma and for it received the honour of knighthood. His great achievement is the painting of the "Assumption of the Virgin" in the cupola of Forlì cathedral. On this immense work he was engaged from 1681 to 1706, and on its completion was elected to high office in that town and appointed by Clement XI president of the Academy of Bologna. There is a grandeur and profundity, about his work hardly warranted by its actual excution. His colouring is suave, his drawing on the whole accurate but not devoid of clever trickery, and his paintings were executed with extraordinary facility, where are three of his works at Copenhagen, several in Vienna, his own portrait at Florence and others at Berlin and Munich. He died at Forlì in 1719.
(2) FELICE, his son, succeeded to the ample fortune left by his father, and practised his art rather from inclination than as an actual professional artist. He was born in 1660 and died in 1724; in Bologna in two of the churches are clever, dexterous, and well-coloured paintings which are his work.
(3) PAOLO was another pupil of the elder artist and his nephew. He was born at Bologna in 1709 and died in 1764. His style is effective, refined, and highly finished, but only three of his paintings are known to present-day critics.
GEORGE CHARLES WILLIAMSON