Giovanni Andrea PODESTA (Genoa, 1608 - Genoa or Rome, 1674)
Giovanni Andrea Podestà was trained in the studio of Giambattista Paggi in Genoa, sometime before 1627, where his fellow pupils included Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione. He also studied with Domenico Fiasella and Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari, but very little is known of his activity in Genoa before he settled in Rome around 1636. Although he noted his Genoese origins when he signed his etchings, Podestà seems to have spent most of his career in Rome, becoming a member of the Accademia di San Luca in 1650. He worked mainly as a printmaker, and etchings by him may be dated between 1636 and 1661. His first dated print, an etching after Titian, is dedicated to Cassiano dal Pozzo, and Podestà, like Castiglione, may be included among a group of artists working in Rome and cultivated by dal Pozzo, including Nicolas Poussin and Pietro Testa. He is also noted as one of the people responsible for compiling the inventory of Cardinal Mazarin’s collection of paintings following his death in 1661. Although Podestà is best known as a printmaker, a handful of paintings of bacchanals with putti, considered in the past to be the work of Poussin or Testa, have also been tentatively attributed to him.