Carlo Bossoli ( 1815 - 1884)

Swiss-born Italian painter and lithographer known for his historical scenes from the Risorgimento. He was born on December 6, 1815, in Lugano, Switzerland, and died on August 1, 1884, in Turin, Italy.

Bossoli’s father, of Italian origin, was a stonemason who worked in Switzerland. In 1820, the family moved to Odessa, Ukraine, where his father found work. Bossoli studied with the Capuchins until 1826 and later worked in a shop selling antiquarian books and prints, where he began to develop his drawing and sketching skills. In 1828, he was hired by the Odessa Opera as an assistant to stage designer Rinaldo Nannini, and in 1833, he started selling his paintings.

His talent caught the attention of Prince Mikhail Vorontsov, who commissioned him to paint several views of Odessa. With the support of Princess Elizabeta, Bossoli traveled to Italy from 1839 to 1840, primarily staying in Naples and Rome. He focused on tempera and gouache techniques and associated with British artists living in Italy at the time. Upon his return, he settled in Alupka, on the Vorontsov estate, in 1840. In 1844, Bossoli moved to Milan and opened a studio there until 1853 when he had to flee to Turin due to an unsuccessful uprising against the Austrians. Turin became his base for extensive travels to England, France, Spain, Morocco, Germany, and Scandinavia

Bossoli received a commission from Prince Oddone, Duke of Montferrat, to follow the Piedmontese Army and document its campaigns. He produced an album of 150 tempera paintings, earning praise from the prince as “the painter of our history.” However, Bossoli’s productivity declined significantly after falling ill with a fever. He divided his time between decorating his home to resemble the Vorontsov Palace and caring for his nephew.

At the age of sixty-eight in 1883, Bossoli married Adelaide De Carolis, who was twenty-one years old. The marriage was commonly believed to be a financial arrangement. The following year, he passed away from a heart attack.

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