By Livia Lupi

Sculptor and writer Giovanni Battista Carboni died in Brescia on 29 December 1790. Born in this same city on 29 March 1725 as the son of a stucco decorator and wood carver, Giovanni Battista studied the humanities for twelve years before he had to join his father as a wood carver.

Giovanni Battista realized numerous works for churches in Brescia and the surrounding area, including monochrome and polychrome statues and church choirs. He also cultivated his drawing and modelling skills, becoming one of the most prominent artists of the area. In 1760 he published, although anonymously, a guide to the paintings and sculptures in Brescia, Le pitture e sculture di Brescia, enriched with engravings. Although he also wrote a text about painters, sculptors and architects from Brescia, the 1760 guide remains Giovanni Battista’s most important textual endeavor, presenting artworks in a practical and concise manner that resembles a modern tourist guide’s approach.

Reference: Camillo Boselli, “Carboni, Giovanni Battista” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Enciclopedia Treccani

Frontispiece, Le Pitture e sculture di Brescia, 1760.

Choir, 1760?, Church of San Faustino, Brescia.

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