Born in Venice on February 10, 1791, died in Milan on December 21, 1882. From a father originally from Valenciennes, he was entrusted to an antiquarian uncle who, wanting to make him a restorer, initiated him into painting. He received his first artistic education from Zanotti, then from Maggiotto and Querena, and attended the Academy of Venice, a disciple of Teodoro Matteini. Having won the pension in Rome in 1809, he went there with a commendatizia by Cicognara for Canova. After a long stay in that city, in which he got to know, not to mention the major ones, Camuccini, Minardi, Ingres, and a short stay in Florence and Naples, he returned in 1817 to Venice and finally settled in Milan . Meanwhile, in 1812 he had won the Brera Grand Prix with Laocoonte. In Milan the struggle between the classics and the romantics was raging, first led by Luigi Sabatelli, and the Hayez, still under the influence of Canova, at first remained faithful to the forms of the swamped classicism, as in the Alcibiades surprised in the gynoecium from Sacrate, executed in 1819 on commission of King Murat. But when in Brera the following year he exhibited his first historical painting, Pietro Rossi prisoner of the Scaligeri in Pontremoli, the romantics immediately acclaimed him as their leader. However, modern criticism has found that this romanticism was more in his chosen themes than in his painting. He then painted: commissioned by Count Arese, The Count of Carmagnola; The Venetian patricia Gradenigo before the state inquisitors, ordered by Countess Maffei to decorate his living room, and in 1823 the Last Kiss of Romeo and Juliet, considered, at the time, the most significant work of Italian romanticism. Manzoni, Grossi, Berchet, Pellico were friends with him, and often suggested themes for paintings, such as: The Sicilian Vespers, currently in the Gallery of Modern Art in Rome; I due Foscari, in the Gallery of Ancient and Modern Art in Florence; The refugees of Parga, property of Accetti in Milan; The thirst of the Crusaders; Imelda; Maria Stuarda; Vittor Pisani; Venus leading Helen to Paris's bed. From 1822 the artist was Sabatelli's help in Brera, and in 1850 he replaced him as owner. Extremely fruitful and tireless, he worked to a ripe old age, personified the Milanese Academy for many years and was the idol of the public for half a century. His art is sweet, suave, serene like the Venice in which he was born; by some accused of not being free from a certain coldness taken from the classics, but always exquisite, accurate and harmonious. He excelled in portraits, especially in the female ones, to which he knew how to give a sensual refinement, which was long envied. Four self-portraits of him are preserved, painted respectively in 1822, 1848, 1862, 1878, and the portraits of the most famous personalities of his generation: Alessandro Manzoni; Teresa Borrì Manzoni; Antonio Rosmini; Massimo d'Azeglio; Cavour; Gioacchino Rossini; Ugo pasture; Carlo della Bianca; the painter Vitale Sala, all nine in the Pinacoteca di Brera; Pompeo Marchesi; Matilde Juva Branca, and another portrait by Alessandro Manzoni, in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan; The Princess of Sant'Antimo, in the San Martino Museum in Naples; Count Cristoforo Sola Cablati, belonging to the Sola counts of Milan; Countess Litta Bargia, owned by the Marquis Modignani of Milan; Don Giovanni Morosini, owned by the Casati-Stampa counts of Milan; Portrait of an Unknown, in the collection of the painter Carezzi of Milan; Head of a Woman, exhibited in Milan in 1934 and today in the Turri collection in Milan; Portrait of an Armenian priest. They also remember him: Bathsheba in the bathroom, Last moments of Doge Marin Fallero on the so-called Piombo staircase, Odalisque, Francesco Foscari obliged to renounce the dogate, La desolata and Fiori, all preserved in the Brera Art Gallery; The destruction of Jerusalem (sketch with a watercolor drawing), in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan; Bather; Caterina Cornaro and the Venetian Messo, property of the Carrara Academy of Bergamo; The Venetian and Martirio di San Bartolomeo, property of the Negroni-Prato Morosini counts; Baptism of the first Christians; Rinaldo and Armida, in the Venice Gallery; Ulysses at the court of King Alcino, in the Capodimonte palace; Athlete and Farewell, in the Accademia di San Luca in Rome; The Battle of Magenta; The siege of Patras. Hayez also painted frescoes in the vault of the dining room of the Palazzo Reale in Milan, commissioned from him by Count Mettermeli, depicting the Triumph of Igea, and two lunettes in the Chiaramonti Vatican Museum. He left his memoirs of him, which were published by the Brera Academy. He also made an engraving, the Allegory, a rare example of bulinistic etching, engraved in 1821 at the time of the Sicilian Vespers, a timid essay on the beginning of the history of etching in Lombardy. He was reputed to be a lithographer. Together with Appiani and Fontanesi he is the exponent of our nineteenth-century lithography. He used the pencil, sometimes with lively freedom, sometimes with a mannered and refined taste. He illustrated W. Scott's "Ivanoe" (in which he inserted the self-portrait, he was his masterpiece) and T. Grossi's "Lombards at the first Crusade". In 1883 a large retrospective of his works was set up at the Brera Academy; in 1890 Milan dedicated a monument to him (the work of the sculptor Francesco Barzaghi), located in the square of Brera and, in 1934, another large exhibition (almost a hundred works) of his paintings was set up at the Castello Sforzesco. Among his students he had: E. Amus, A. Appiani junior, Giuseppe Ariassi, C. Arienti, G. Arlassi, Angelo Bacchetta, A. Barzaghi Cattaneo, C. Belgioioso, L. Bianchi, A. Bisi, Emilio Borsa, Pietro Bouvier, F. Brambilla, G. Brunati, F. Carcano, G. Castoldi, A. Cattaneo, E. Crespi, F. Didioni, A. Dovera, A. Focosi, L. M. G. Galli, D. Induno, A. Inganni, Achille Lampugnani, S. Lo Forte, E. Magistretti, Giuseppe Mazza, Giuseppe Mazzolani, F. Monteverde, A. Moro, Angelo Pietrasanta, G. Porta, G. Puricelli, Al. Rinaldi, Gius. Riva, Ferd. Rossaro, B. Ticozzi, F. Valaperta, L. Valtorta, B. Verazzi, A. Zanoni. P. Fabris, L. Sampietri and others were also influenced.


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