Fortunato Duranti  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Fortunato Duranti (25 September 1787 – 7 February 1863) was an Italian painter and collector.

Durant was born at Montefortino, in what are now the Marche, then part of the Papal States. His father was a shoemaker of limited means. In Rome he befriended Nicola Consoni (director of the Academy of Saint Luke) and Tommaso Minardi. He was influenced by the neoclassic painter Felice Giani. In 1807, he travels to Rome to study in the school of Domenico Conti, who had trained with Giuseppe Bazzani and Pompeo Batoni. Under the patronage in Rome of cardinal Bernardino Honorati, he was influenced by Vincenzo Camuccini, Pelagio Palagi, Felice Giani, and Bartolomeo Pinelli. When the cardinal died, he became an antiquarian. On a planned trip to Germany in 1815, he was arrested and his works confiscated. In the 1820s, he became mainly a printmaker, acquiring an expressive graphic style of works influenced by the works of Henry Fuseli and Francisco Goya, but still with an Italianate religious thematic. He is now best known for his etchings and drawings. He painted little, but thousands of his drawings are conserved by the Commune of Montefortino or were collected Giovan Batiste Carducci from Fermo.

Never married, and despite his often precarious economic well-being, Fortunato often donated hundreds of items or art and furniture, he had collected to the town of Montefortino, included paintings attributed to Piero della Francesca, Ghirlandaio, Crivelli, Giaquinto, Cortona, Bassano, Cristopher Unterberher, Perugino, Maratta, Cunx Taddeo, Rosa da Tivoli, Carracci, Carlo Dolci, Mengs, Subleyras, Placido Costanzi, Raffaellino da Reggio, and Giuseppe Ghezzi. The remainder of the collection is presently displayed in a pinacoteca [1]. A catalogue of the collection can be found at Pinacoteca Civica Fortunato Duranti.

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