Bernardo Strozzi

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Strozzi (strôt´tsē), noble Florentine family. It grew rich through commerce and took an active part in the government of the city after the 13th cent. Later the Strozzi strongly opposed the Medici rule of Florence. Among the Strozzi, there were several eminent soldiers, scholars, and men of letters. At an early date the family divided into several branches. Palla Strozzi, c.1373–1462, a politician and ardent humanist, furthered Greek studies in Florence and Padua. Filippo Strozzi, 1428–91, was banished by the Medici, gained wealth and influence in Naples, and after his return to Florence began to build the celebrated Strozzi Palace. His son Filippo Strozzi, 1489–1538, married a granddaughter of Lorenzo de' Medici; he was first friendly to the Medici, then became a staunch opponent. He led Florentine exiles against Cosimo I de' Medici, was captured, and died in prison. His son Leone Strozzi, 1515–54, first entered the Order of Malta and later became an admiral in the French service. He distinguished himself in wars against Spain and England. Another son of Filippo, Piero Strozzi, d. 1558, a violent enemy of the Medici, fought for the French in the Italian Wars and was made a marshal of France. He took part in the French siege of Calais (1557). Filippo Strozzi, 1541–82, was also in the French service. He was captured and killed by the Spanish in a naval battle off the Azores.

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Bernardo Strozzi (bĕrnär´dō strôt´tsē), 1581–1644, Italian painter, b. Genoa. He is considered one of the greatest of the generation of early 17th-century Italian painters who made the transition from the mannerist to the baroque style. In 1598, Strozzi became a Capuchin monk, thus earning the names "Il Cappucino" and later "Il Prete Genovese." Strozzi was influenced by the work of Rubens, who in 1607 was in Genoa. Strozzi's own influence on the painting of Genoa was very great. His early works were marked by strong chiaroscuro (high-contrast) effects, as in his St. Augustine Washing Christ's Feet (Genoa). But his palette had begun to lighten when he went to Venice in 1630. He became one of the artists who rekindled the spirit of great painting in Venice. Examples of Strozzi's work are in the major European museums and in Baltimore, Cleveland, and the Metropolitan Museum.