Milanese painter Giovanni Migliara – known especially for his vedute of famous city piazzas – was born on this day in 1785. Undertaking a Grand Tour of Bella Italia in his thirties, he masterfully captured Italy’s picturesque urban landscape, at times depicting elegant gentility out for a stroll in the city’s central square. There is no sign of the forthcoming industrialization that would transform many urban centers in Migliara’s romantic, almost nostalgic paintings. Rather, a soft atmosphere uniformly connects ancient buildings, grand baroque facades, and quaint medieval houses. Surprisingly, Migliara’s paintings are all small in scale, not larger than 23” wide. This makes the viewing experience of his detailed urban scenes an intimate affair. Migliara’s paintings quickly became a favorite of the Milanese aristocracy, and in 1833, he was named painter of the Court of King Charles albert of Sardinia. Sadly, Migliara died on April 18, 1837 of pulmonary problems; he was only 52 years old.
Giuseppe Molteni, Portrait of Giovanni Migliara, 1829, oil on canvas
View of Piazza del Duomo in Milano, 1828, oil on canvas
View of Piazza San Marco in Venezia after a Thunderstorm, c. 1830, oil on canvas
Piazza del Duomo, Cremona, c. 1835, oil on canvas