Giovanni Battista Fontana (painter)

Giovanni Battista Fontana (* around 1524 in Ala at Verona; † September 25, 1587 in Innsbruck ) was an Italian artist.


Fontana accurate survival data are not backed up. Influences of Titian, Paolo Veronese and Parmigianino be discussed, but his education is in the dark. However, it is known that he was already in 1562 in the service of the Emperor Ferdinand I. - his earliest detectable sure the works are from the chapel of Ebersdorf - and from 1572 worked for his son Ferdinand II. From 1575 Fontana court painter Ferdinand II was 68 stitches ascribed probably go back to most of his brother Giulio; Giovanni Battista likely to have at best provided the designs, so even with the 27 leaves for Romuluslegende who were dedicated to the Archduke. 1573 Fontana designed frescoes in the oratory and in the ball game house of the castle to Innsbruck. Dating back to 1576, an altarpiece in Seefeld, 1580 Fontana made ​​three altarpieces for the chapel of Günzburg. From the same period comes a portrait of Cardinal Andrew of Austria. The Silver Chapel Royal Chapel of Innsbruck Fontana equipped with fourteen ceiling paintings for the Passion of Christ. Do not get the paintings are in the castle in 1636 spent resting pleasure. Perhaps the last work of Fontana is an altarpiece for the church of Matrei. Before 1586 he was commissioned to decorate the wooden ceiling in the dining room of an outbuilding of Ambras Castle with an allegory of the sky.

A major work, The Allegory of the starry sky

The allegorical paintings, 21 m long and 9.30 m wide, painted with oil colors on wood, located since 1881 in the armory of the castle Ambras. It shows a total of 48 constellations, including 47 that were known since Claudius Ptolemy, and introduced by Gerhard Mercator in 1551 as Coma Berenice Berenice's Hair in 48th.

Overall, the picture is divided into three parts: A large rectangle is located between two very much smaller. The pictorial representations of the individual constellations are grouped around a large oval that is inserted into the middle rectangle. This results in four corner squares, in which allegories of the four elements of water, fire, air and earth found their place. They were represented by Neptune, Vulcan, Juno and Minerva. Each another rectangular area adjoins the narrow sides of the oval, on the Fontana represented the personifications of the seven planets. On the west side are Sol, Luna, Mercury, and Mars to see on the east side of Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.

Comparable with this astronomical representation is about the dining room ceiling of the Palazzo Farnese from 1573, but it is known due to a preserved account that a celestial globe was from the collection of the client as a direct template for the painting.

  • Italian Painter
  • Copper engraver
  • Born in the 16th century
  • Died in 1587
  • Man