Bernardo Castello

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Bernardo Castello (or Castelli) (1557–1629) was an Italian painter of the late-Mannerist style, active mainly in Genoa and Liguria. He is mainly known as a portrait and historical painter.[1]


Bernardo Castello was born in San Martino d'Albaro [it], now a quarter of Genoa. He apprenticed under Andrea Semino and Luca Cambiaso, then he travelled through Italy, meeting other painters and creating his own particular style.

During his career he painted a lot of works and was very appreciated by famous poets, with which he had friendship relations. Among these he was a friend of Gabriello Chiabrera and Torquato Tasso, and took upon himself the task of designing the figures of the Jerusalem Delivered, published in 1590 (and also for a further edition, published in 1617). Some of these subjects were engraved by Agostino Carracci. Besides painting a number of works in Genoa, Castello was employed in Rome and worked also for the duke of Savoy Charles Emmanuel I.

Bernardo Castello died following a short illness in October 1629, aged seventy-two years, as he was about to go to Rome, where he had been requested to paint a picture for St. Peter's Basilica. He was buried in the church of San Martino of Albaro.

Bernardo Castello was the father of Valerio Castello, his youngest son, born when the painter was already in advanced age. Valerio Castello, great innovator, would become one of the greatest Genoese painters of 17th century, even if he died prematurely, when he was only 34 years old.

Anyway, Bernardo Castello could not influence his son’s artistic education, as he died when Valerio was only six years old.


During his long career Bernardo Castello produced a lot of works. The following list is not exhaustive, but gives an idea of his large artistic production:


  1. ^ He needs to be distinguished from Giovanni Battista Castello, (called Il bergamasco), who was an elder friend of and collaborator with Luca Cambiaso.

External links[edit]

Media related to Bernardo Castello at Wikimedia Commons


  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Castello, Bernardo" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 471–472.
  • Soprani, Raffaello (1769). Carlo Giuseppe Ratti (ed.). Delle vite de' pittori, scultori, ed architetti genovesi. Stamperia Casamara in Genoa, dalle Cinque Lampadi, con licenza de Superiori; Digitized by Googlebooks from Oxford University copy on Feb 2, 2007. pp. 150–163.