Rutilio Manetti

Siena 1577 – 1639

Rutilio Manetti was one of the first Sienese artists to be influenced by the innovations introduced by
Federico Barocci and the later Roman Mannerists. He was particularly renowned for his skill in the
study of human feelings and for his gracious handling of nuance. He drew close to Caravaggio’s
naturalism after 1615, following a spell in Rome. His first recorded works were painted c. 1597 for
the Sala del Concistoro in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena where, at the age of twenty-six, he painted
a number of lunettes under the guiding hand of his masters Francesco Vanni and Ventura
Salimbeni.

Manetti made a name for himself with a fresco cycle which he painted in the Oratory of San Rocco
in Siena’s Contrada della Lupa neighbourhood. His style began to veer towards that of Caravaggio
c. 1615, and in fact we can clearly distinguish a second phase in his stylistic development that is
markedly different from the style of his earlier work. His painting in this period, the 1620s,
coincided with the peak of his artistic career, when he also produced a splendid Rest on the Flight
into Egypt in the church of San Pietro alle Scale in Siena.

Manetti was a meticulous student not only of Caravaggio’s work but also of that of his followers in
Rome, include Gerrit van Honthorst (Gherardo delle Notti), Valentin de Boulogne, Nicolas
Tournier and Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi. His most significant works include the Assumption
of the Virgin (1632) in the Abbey of San Mercuriale in Forlì and Dante and Virgil in Hell now in
the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena. He enjoyed such a great reputation in his native city that when
he died, he was buried in Siena Cathedral.

Artworks in Pinacoteca
  • Rutilio Manetti
    The Holy Family