Italian artist Francesco Ballesio is predominantly known for his precise renderings of interiors, particularly those in the Middle East. Born in Turin, Italy, he received a first-class education initially via the Accademia Albertina in Turin before moving to Rome.
Ballesio’s academic training was a formal affair consisting of labour-intensive studies of classical sculptures, works by the old masters, and life drawing. Italian art during the 19th century was continually looking over its shoulder to the glory days and hence students worked tirelessly in the monumental shadow of the Renaissance. As a result, upon commencing his career, Ballesio had developed into an exquisite draughtsman with a keen eye for colour.
Looking back across his oeuvre, we see an artist enjoying the flamboyance of luxurious interiors. It’s a veritable glitterati of relaxing maidens and Rococo leisure activities. Many of his works depict scenes from the Middle East, as we see here. Sprawled in a harem, she admires her reflection while surrounded by sublime drapery.
Francesco Ballesio, Odalisque
But he also looked back to the indulgence of the Rococo period - its plush decoration, lavish outfits, and gilded everything.
Francesco Ballesio, Rococo Music Scene
Popular with buyers in the USA and United Kingdom, Ballesio forged a solid career - exhibiting in both Rome and Turin. He was an artist surrounded by Italian splendour who distilled his love of beauty into watercolours and oil.
Francesco Ballesio exhibited extensively including in Rome and Tivoli. His works have been sold through Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams with 15 reaching in excess of £10,000.
Born in Turin, Italy.
Studied at the Accademia Albertina in Turin.
Moved to Rome.
Exhibited at the Rome Fine Arts Exhibition.
Exhibited at the General Exhibition in Turin.
Moved to Tivoli.
Died in Tivoli, Italy.