Giovanni Battista Castello

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Adoration of the Magi by Giovanni Battista Castello, Walters Art Museum

Giovanni Battista Castello (1500 or 1509–1569 or 1579) was an Italian historical painter.

Born in Gandino near Bergamo, he is ordinarily termed Il Bergamasco to distinguish him from the other painter (of miniatures) with the identical name from school of Genoa. His best-known works are the paintings on the vault of the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato.[1] He was an architect and sculptor as well as painter.

When young, he apprenticed with Aurelio Buso of Crema, a pupil of Polidoro da Caravaggio. He was sponsored in Genoa by Tobia Pallavicino and sent to Rome for some years. He returned to decorate the palazzo Pallavicino and the church of San Marcellino. He painted of the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian in the monastery of San Sebastiano. Along with Luca Cambiaso, was commissioned by the Duke Grimaldi to decorate the ceiling of the choir of the Nunziata di Portoria in Genoa, with a fresco of Christ as judge of the world.

He decorated the hall of the Lanzi Palace at Gorlago, with narrative scenes of the Iliad. He worked on various projects with his friend Cambiaso, including in a chapel for the Duomo di San Lorenzo. In 1567 he was invited to Madrid to become painter and architect to Philip II. He also executed some works in the Escorial, and died holding the office of architect of the royal palaces, including the Pardo Palace. As architect, he is supposed to have remodeled the church of San Matteo in Genoa and to have designed the imperial palace at Campetto. He died at Madrid in 1569 or 1579.

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