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Home>Exhibitions & Events>Exhibitions>Pietro da Cortona and Ciro Ferri

In the service of three successive popes – Urban VIII, Innocent X, and Alexander VII – Cortona wrought a profound transformation of the art of painting in Rome, developing and enriching the lessons of Annibale Carracci through his explorations of illusionism, the unification of pictorial space, and Venetian light. A multi-talented artist, he was also a highly original architect whose work brought new depth and movement to traditionally flat church façades.

Louis XIV commissioned Cortona to work on the Louvre palace. Cortona’s talent and prestigious patrons attracted numerous pupils and followers, including Ciro Ferri (1634–1685), one of his most faithful and talented disciples.

Trained as a draughtsman in the Florentine tradition, Cortona developed an essentially Roman style – that of the Church triumphant, delighting in the glory of Creation. Sensuous nudes drawn in red chalk, dazzling black chalk draperies, compositional studies in ink, all testify to the use of drawing as an experimental medium of choice, by this inventive artist whose work and influence were furthered in variations and completions by Ciro Ferri, and disseminated throughout Europe in the form of engravings. Cortona was a major figure in the artistic effervescence of 17th-century Rome, whose influence was felt in Florence, Paris, and – to an even greater extent – Versailles.

Organized by: Bénédicte Gady, Musée du Louvre, Department of Prints and Drawings

Practical information


Denon wing, 1st floor, Mollien rooms


Access with museum ticket: €10

Daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Tuesday, late night opening Wednesday and Friday until 10 p.m.

For further information

+33 (0)1 40 20 53 17