Born in Milan on 11 December 1825 and died in the same city on 24 November 1898. He trained first with his father Giovan Battista on painting on life and, later, with Luigi Sabatelli and Giuseppe Bisi at the Brera Academy, where in 1845 he won the Rome Prize with the painting The meeting of Dante and brother Hilary. He later perfected himself in Rome, Venice and Florence, remaining fascinated by ancient art, especially the Renaissance. In 1880 he was appointed teacher of painting at the Brera Academy, a position he held until his death; two years later he takes over from Francesco Hayez in the direction of the Academy itself. During his forty years of teaching he has as students, among others, Bouvier, Faruffini, Cremona, Ranzoni, Mosè Bianchi, Carcano, Tallone, Pelizza da Volpedo. At the same time he was appointed director and continuator for life of the museum of cavalier Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli (inaugurated in 1881) and director of the Pinacoteca di Brera, whose collections he promotes and rearranges. He mainly dedicates himself to oil and fresco painting, historical and religious subjects and portraiture. Among the frescoes we remember the decoration of San Spiridione in Trieste (around 1880) and, in Milan, a ground floor of the Sola Busca formerly Serbelloni palace on Corso Venezia, some rooms of Palazzo Turati, the ceilings of the Poldi Pezzoli palace and of the Manzoni theater (destroyed), the decoration of the great hall of the Ponti villa in Biumo Superiore (Varese). Among the altarpieces, the Annunciation in the church of Valmarana (Vicenza), the Ecstasy of San Francesco in Santa Babila in Milan, the Transit of San Giuseppe in the parish of Paderno d'Adda, the Immaculate Conception in the parish of Valmadrera (1885). Among the historical-romantic paintings emerge Ofelia (Milan, formerly in the Negroni-Prati-Morosini collection), Torquato Tasso presented to Emanuele Filiberto (Royal Palace of Turin), Young girls among doves in a garden (1869, Villa Belgioioso Bonaparte Milan) , and various others, preserved in the Gallery of Modern Art in Milan (Maceration of hemp; The court of Lodovico il Moro; Francesco Guardi who sells his paintings; Paolo and Francesca; Entry of Vittorio Emanuele II and Napoleon III in Milan after the Battle of Magenta, 1859). He also paints the curtains of the Teatro alla Scala (Feste atellane, Varese, Villa Ponti) and of the Manzoni Theater. Numerous portraits of him, from those of the members of the royal family, replicated several times, to Lombard characters; many of them are in the Civic Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Casnago Castle in Varese (for example, Woman with flowers, around 1870), in the Gallery of Modern Art in Milan and in the picture gallery of the Ospedale Maggiore (including the Portrait of the lawyer Calcaterra, 1856). In addition to portraiture and historical and religious painting, he also practices glassmaking, of which his father and grandfather were specialists. With the family firm "Fratelli Bertini", in collaboration with his brother Pompeo, he created the artistic stained glass windows of prestigious places of worship, in Italy and abroad, among which we remember: the cathedral of Como (1849-1850), the cathedral of Milan (1852-1859) - where he carried out an arbitrary restoration, in his father's footsteps, dismembering and retouching the old glass (1862, 1864-1865, 1867-1890) - the large windows on the facade with S. Carlo, S. Ambrogio and the Archangel Michael), S. Martino di Lucca (1856), S. Michele di Pavia (1861) and, after 1866, the church of S. Giulia in Turin, the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva in Rome (six windows of the choir and the large window on the facade), S. Petronio of Bologna, the cathedral of Arezzo, the SS. Martyrs of Arona (apse) and the sanctuary of the Pietà of Cannobio; abroad, Glasgow Cathedral, the South Kensington Museum (Victoria and Albert) in London, the cemetery in Lima, the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro. His best works are considered to be the early stained glass window with Dante and the Divine Comedy, exhibited in London in 1853 and now at the Ambrosiana, and the stained glass windows made for Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli.


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