The demise of a draughtsman: 8 December 1799 marked the death of sculptor, painter, and engraver Giuseppe Cades in Rome.

By Alexis Culotta

The demise of a draughtsman: 8 December 1799 marked the death of sculptor, painter, and engraver Giuseppe Cades in Rome. Born there 4 March 1750, Cades studied first at the Accademia di San Luca under painters Domenico Corvi and Francesco Mancini and then branched out on his own with independent commissions as early as the 1770s. At first borrowing a style similar to Carlo Maratta’s, Cades’ approach soon evolved to include a richer range of Renaissance as well as classical references.

Cades enjoyed a wide range of commissions over the remainder of his career, including frescoes for the Palazzo Chigi in Rome and altarpieces for the churches of San Benedetto (1768) and Santi Apostoli (1771) in Turin. He became a fellow of the Accademia di San Luca in 1786, only a few years before his death.


Apollo and Marsyas (After Raphael), late 18th century. Oil on canvas. Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Fire in the Borgo (After Raphael), late 18th century. Oil on canvas. Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Birth of the Virgin, c. 1784. Pen and brown ink and brown wash, over traces of graphite on ivory laid paper. Art Institute of Chicago.

Virgin and Child, 1750-1799. Black and red chalk on paper. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The Martyrdom of the Blessed Signoretto Alliata, c. 1794-1796. Oil on canvas. The Walters Art Museum, Maryland.

Justice, late 18th century. Oil on canvas. Royal Academy of Arts, London.

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