1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Corenzio, Belisario

CORENZIO, BELISARIO (c. 1558–1643), Italian painter, a Greek by birth, studied at Venice under Tintoretto, and then settled at Naples, where he became famous for unscrupulous conduct as a man and rapid execution as an artist. Though careless in composition and a mannerist in style, he possessed an acknowledged fertility of invention and readiness of hand; and these qualities, allied to a certain breadth of conception, seem in the eyes of his contemporaries to have atoned for many defects. When Guido Reni came in 1621 to Naples to paint in the chapel of St Januarius, Corenzio suborned an assassin to take his life. The hired bravo killed Guido’s assistant, and effectually frightened Reni, who prudently withdrew to Rome. Corenzio, however, only suffered temporary imprisonment, and lived long enough to supplant Ribera in the good graces of Don Pedro di Toledo, viceroy of Naples, who made him his court painter. Corenzio vainly endeavoured to fill Guido’s place in the chapel of St Januarius. His work was adjudged to have been under the mark, and yet the numerous frescoes which he left in Neapolitan churches and palaces, and the large wall paintings which still cover the cupola of the church of Monte Casino are evidence of uncommon facility, and show that Corenzio was not greatly inferior to the fa prestos of his time. His florid style, indeed, seems well in keeping with the overladen architecture and full-blown decorative ornament peculiar to the Jesuit builders of the 17th century. Corenzio died, it is said, at the age of eighty-five by a fall from a scaffolding.