He was a pupil of Santo Prunato and Antonio Balestra and active mostly in the area of the Veneto. He became the director of the academy of painting and sculpture of Verona in December 1764. The Academy was subsequently known as Accademia Cignaroli. Among his many pupils were Giovanni Battista Lorenzi, Saverio Dalla Rosa, Domenico Mondini, Domenico Pedarzoli, and Cristopher Unterberger.
For the Austrian governor of Lombardy and a collector of antiquities, Count Karl von Firmian, Cignaroli painted two canvases on Greco-Roman episodes, a thematic preferred by Neoclassic painters: Death of Cato (1759) and Death of Socrates.
- Web Gallery of Art
- Giambettino Cignaroli's Deaths of Cato and of Socrates, Joseph Geiger. Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte (1996) pp270–278.
- Studi sopra la storia della pittura italiana dei secoli xiv e xv e della scuola pittorica. By Cesare Bernasconi. Published 1864 (google books). Original from Oxford University
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