Giuseppe Bertoluzzi (1750-1829) – The Battle of Arcole


Giuseppe Bertoluzzi (1750-1829)

Ruin with a memorial stone commemorating the Battle of the Bridge of Arcole

Signed bottom centre: Jos . Bertoluzzi in . et fecit .


One of seven memorial stones of the Napoleonic campaigns.

Pencil on paper

17 x 23 cm.



Giuseppe Bertoluzzi
(Parma, 1771-1828)

Painter, architect, scholar and writer on art, Giuseppe Bertoluzzi established himself among his contemporaries primarily as a water-colourist, draftsman, and printmaker, as evidenced by many of his works which are held in the collections of the Biblioteca Palatina, the Museo Glauco Lombardi, the Accademia e della Galleria Nazionale di Parma (for example the watercolour of the Atrio del Palazzo della Pilotta drawn from life in 1819, housed in the Galleria Nazionale or the L’acquedotto di Adriano in Grecia in the Museo Glauco Lombardi).
Even without having attended the Academy he was a scholar of literature and a great lover of the arts and was appointed on March 4, 1804, by decree of the General Administrator Moreau de Saint-Mery, as lecturer at the Nazionale Accademia delle Belle Arti as Master of Drawing and Perspective with the annual pay of three thousand Lire of Parma (Academy open letter signed by Moreau de Saint-Mery, by Professor Ravenet, in charge of all academic affairs pro tempore, and the deputy secretary D. Prospero Maddaleni).  On the 11th of December of the same year he was given the post of Professor and Master of Ornato by the Chief secretary general.
Contemporary to the drawings with inscriptions of the Napoleonic military campaigns made in 1807 there are also the Allegoria della pace di Lunéville, and the Allegoria della vittoria napoleonica nella battaglia di Jéna (both in Parma, at the Museo Glauco Lombardi), sheets that, like the inscriptions, mimic with the pencil the technique of etching, effect for which Bertoluzzi was well known among his contemporaries. The series, as well as the designs presented here includes the Lapide commemorativa della vittoria di Jéna (Parma, Museo Glauco Lombardi) and five other drawings kept at the British Museum (see below).
On September 8, 1812, by order of the Minister of the Interior, his appointment was sanctioned, made by Dupont Delporte, Prefect of the Department of Taro, as a Professor at the School of Painting in the City of Parma with the salary of 1,200 francs (Campori published in this regard a letter of congratulations to Angelo De Gubernatis). Following this appointment Bertoluzzi taught elements of civil architecture, engraving, perspective and Ornato until April 27, 1816, when following the Piano di Riorganizzazione della Parmense Accademia approved by Maria Luigia of Austria in Venice, he was appointed Professor of Perspective and Ornato with an annual salary of 5000 Lire of Parma. From 1812 to 1820 the Teatro di Borgo Val di Taro was built from his design. He married Giulia Negri, by whom he had four children. During the disastrous years for the Academy, from the fall of Moreau de Saint-Mery until the creation of the Scuola di pittura, the period in which the professors of the Academy perceived scarce grants and resources, Bertoluzzi had to dispose of his own assets several times, consisting of eleven biolche of land (more 33.895 m2) in Casalfoschio of Sissa, in order to provide for the subsistence of his family. Among the engravings he designed the Il Battistero di Parma by Michael Lopez were particularly important, which was printed after his death, as well as the Guida di Parma to whom he had worked for a long time. In the Biblioteca Palatina is preserved the manuscript in his own handwriting of the Notizie intorno alle belle arti parmigiane (ms. Parmense 1106).

(Alessandra Imbellone)


The British Museum holds these missing four drawing of this collection by Bertoluzzi (Museum numbers: 1991,1005.22 – 1991,1005.23 – 1991,1005.24 – 1991,1005.26).

Here is a link to the British Museum website:

Bertoluzzi was the author of the art guide: “Nuovissima guida per osservare le pitture si a olio che a fresco esistenti attualmente nella chiese di Parma” edited in Parma in 1830

Other notable pictures by Bertoluzzi (not in stock) are:



Atrio della Pilotta, 1819 (not in stock)
Watercolour on paper, 17.5 x 14.8 cm
Inventory No. 1092

“The watercolour shows the south side of the portico of the Palazzo della Pilotta with the entrance to the ducal apothecary . The environment is composed of a monumental architectural structure, with precious reliefs on the ground floor seventeenth century , and a crowd of figures engaged in various occupations , which come alive in various parts of the scene, posing as beggars, gentlemen or elegant female figures. This work was made in 1819 in a diligent but free hand by Joseph Bertoluzzi , a cultured man of letters , who in his native city devoted himself to painting, watercolours and drawing.
The painting of Bertoluzzi is one of the works of the Galleria within the exhibition “Bodoni, Principe dei Tipografi nell’Europa dei Lumi e di Napoleone” which, in the bicentenary of his death was opened from October 5, 2013 to January 12, 2014 in monumental spaces of the Biblioteca Palatina, the Teatro Farnese and the Galleria Nazionale within the Palazzo della Pilotta.

Along with the painting exhibited in the Saloni Neoclassici of the Galleria Nazionale and the works of Giambattista Bodoni releases from the press, there were also works by Goya, Anton Raphael Mengs , Angelica Kauffmann, Francois Gerard and many other artists already present in the ducal collections including Andrea Appiani , Antonio Canova , Bernardo Bellotto , Hubert Robert.”
Giuseppe Bertoluzzi (Parma, 1771-Parma, 1828) (not in stock)
“Vue des Ruines de l’Acquedue d’Adrien in Grecia”
Late XVIII early XIX century
Pencil on paper
(Sala Acquerelli, Glauco Lombardi Museum, Parma)

As seen in the following images, Bertoluzzi, together other celebrated artists, had an important patron in Marie Louise of Austria (Maria Ludovica Leopoldina Franziska Therese Josepha Lucia von Habsburg-Lothringen; 12 December 1791 – 17 December 1847) who was the second wife of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French and later Duchess of Parma. As such, she was Empress of the French from 1810 to 1814, and subsequently ruler of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla from 1814 until her death.


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