Francesco Casanova

(1727 - )


Francesco Giuseppe Casanova (Francois Casanova) was an Italian artist born in London in 1727, and the younger brother of the famed adventurer Giacomo Casanova. He returned to Venice as a child with his family, where upon his father’s death he and his siblings were placed in the care of the patrician Grimani family. His artistic career began in the workshops of Giovanni Antonio Guardi, and in 1751 he moved to Paris to study under Charles Parrocel, where after 7 years he began working as a free-lance artist and became known for his battle scenes. He died in the Austrian city of Mödling in 1803, where he had been living since 1783.
After receiving praise from philosopher and art critic Denis Diderot, Casanova began to receive notable aristocratic commissions – for example from Catherine the Great for the Hermitage, and his celebrated four “disaster paintings” which were purchased by Jean-Benjamin de la Borde on behalf of Louis XV. In addition to paintings, from 1770 – 1787, Casanova produced designs for tapestries and upholstery for the Royal Beauvais Manufactory, who used more than 70 of his patterns. His works were regularly exhibited at the Paris Salon and are now conserved in important international collections such as the musee du Louvre in Paris, the the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, and the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London.