Bettelini was born in Caslano, and began studying his art very young. He received instruction from Gandolfi and Bartolozzi; but in his subsequent works he inclined more to the style of Raphael Morghen. He died at Rome in 1828.
He is particularly happy in his transcripts of light and elegant forms, and enters with much taste and spirit into the subject he copies. He does not aim at producing brilliant effects, but exercises his graver with care and delicacy, corresponding with the style of the original picture. In those of a sombre or forcible character he is not equally successful. He was held in high estimation by Thorwaldsen, who employed him to engrave some of his finest works, both figures and bassi-rilievi. His engraving of the Entombment, by Andrea del Sarto, in the Florence Gallery, exhibits all the beauties of the original, and may be quoted, not only as his masterpiece, but also among the finest examples of art. His works include:
- Entombment; after Andrea del Sarto.
- Madonna col devoto; after the painting by Correggio, in the possession of the King of Bavaria.
- Ecce Homo; after Correggio.
- St. John; after Domenichino.
- Sibylla Persica; after Guercino.
- Ascension of the Virgin; after Guido.
- Madonna and sleeping Infant; after Raphael.
- Judgment of Solomon; after the same.
- Magdalene; after Schidone.
- Maria div. Sapientiae; after Titian.
- The Virgin Mary reading a book; after the same.
- Portrait of Galileo.
- Portrait of Machiavelli.
- Portrait of Poliziano.
- Storia di Bassano: e del suo territorio by Ottoni Brentani, page 72.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Bryan, Michael (1886). "Bettelini, Pietro". In Graves, Robert Edmund. Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (A–K). I (3rd ed.). London: George Bell & Sons.
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