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Antonio Joli was an Italian painter from the Neo-Classical movement, primarily known for his large-scale, highly detailed cityscape paintings, this kind of picture was called Vedute. Painters of such style are called vedutisti.
Antonio Francesco Lodovico Joli was born in March 1700, in Modena, Italy. His first apprenticeship was under Raffaelo Rinaldi. Later, in Rome, he would study with Giovanni Paolo Panini, a vedute and capricci painter, before he began attending a Galli da Bibbiena studio, a distinguished family famous by their family’s scene-painting tradition and theatre design. By 19 years old, he already received a prestigious commission to decorate Villa Patrizi and became an Accademia di San Luca’s member.
Joli would return to Modena in around 1725, where he worked mainly for Duke of Modena. About 32 years old, Joli was first documented in Venice, where he designed several stage sets for theatres such as San Samuele and San Cassiano, and also Carlo Goldoni, who was the leading Venetian playwriter at the time and who greatly admired Joli’s artwork. During this period, Joli executed many cityscape paintings, inspired by the works of Marieschi, Canaletto, and Carlevarijs.
In 1742, Joli left Venice for Dresden and then, London, where he worked as a scene painter and also assistant manager at King’s Theatre in Haymarket between 1744 and 1748. He also worked on decorative schemes and topographical overdoors, such as for the Richmond mansion, owned by John James Heidegger, and famous impresario.
Joli would leave London and establish in Madrid by 1750, where he stayed for four years working for King Charles III of Spain at Buen Retiro. Joli worked mainly as a view painter and a scenographer. He also received several commissions to execute theatrical scenery at the Aranjuez and the Teatro del Buen Retiro. Upon his arrival back in Venice, in 1754, Joli was one of the 36 first members of the Venetian Academy of Fine Arts.
Joli would finally settle by 1762 when he established himself in Naples, where he was employed as a Painter to the King in the Court Bourbon Theatre. Among others, Joli had several distinguished patrons, such as Lord John Brudenell, Sir William Hamilton, Lord Spencer, and the Duke of Richmond.
Some of his most noteworthy artworks are surely Rome View of the Tiber, The Campo Vaccino Rome Looking Towards St Francesca Romana, and the Arch of Titus from the Temple of Saturn, as well as Arrival of Charles III in Naples 2.