Pier Leone Ghezzi (Italian, 1674–1755)

Ghezzi first trained under his father, a Baroque painter and secretary of the Roman Accademia di San Luca. The son continued his father’s work and painted for various churches such as the Cappuccini of Frascati and San Onofrio of Urbino. Ghezzi’s style changes through the years, reflecting the influence of French portraiture and the decadent Rococo movement. He is also known as perhaps the first professional caricaturist. Ghezzi’s pen and gouache figures are emotionally expressive and depict named individuals or professions satirically. The figures had exaggerated anatomies and eccentricities in clothing, stances, and expressions.