Carlo Bossoli (6 December 1815, in Lugano – 1 August 1884, Turin) was a Swiss-born Italian painter and lithographer, who spent his early career in Russia. He is best known for historical scenes from the Risorgimento.
His father was a stonemason of Italian origin, working in Switzerland. The family moved to Odessa and until 1826, Bossoli studied with the Capuchins. After graduating, he worked in a shop that sold antiquarian books and prints. It was there that he began to draw and sketch.
His work drew the attention of Prince Mikhail Vorontsov, who commissioned him to paint several views of Odessa. Princess Elizabeta was impressed with his abilities and arranged for him to study in Italy from 1839 to 1840. There he focussed on tempera and gouache work. He returned in 1840 and settled in the coastal resort of Alupka, on the Vorontsov estate.
In 1844, at the request of his mother (who was ill), he moved to Milan and opened a studio there. In 1848, he produced popular scenes from "Five Days of Milan". His mother died the following year, but he remained there until 1853, when an unsuccessful uprising against the Austrians forced him to flee to Turin. From there he travelled to England, France, Spain, Morocco, Germany and Scandinavia.
He produced an album of paintings, showing views of Crimea, which was published in London by Day & Son. It proved to be very popular due to public interest in the Crimean War. Later, in 1859, they commissioned him to produce a series of lithographs depicting the Second Italian War of Independence which were published as "The War in Italy".
Prince Oddone gave him a commission to follow the Piedmontese Army and make a record of its campaigns. The result was an album of 150 tempera paintings and the Prince declared him to be "the painter of our history".
In 1883, at the age of sixty-eight, he married Adelaide De Carolis, who was only twenty-one; the marriage was generally believed to be a financial arrangement. The following year, he died of a heart attack. He was buried in Lugano and a street in Turin is named after him.
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