(bapt. Coldrerio, nr. Lugano, 9 Feb. 1612; d Rome, 13 May 1666). Italian Baroque painter. Although he spent most of his life in Rome, his style, characterized by warm colouring and soft modelling, was formed mainly on the example of Guercino and Venetian art (his early career is not well documented, but he probably spent much of the period 1633–47 in north Italy). He painted frescos in Roman churches and palaces, and his best-known painting is the striking Barbary Pirate (1650, Louvre, Paris), but his most characteristic works are fairly small canvases with religious or mythological figures set in landscapes (two examples are in the National Gallery, London). They are somewhat reminiscent of Francesco Albani, but much freer, and closer in spirit to Salvator Rosa; with the latter, Mola was one of the chief representatives of a distinctively romantic strain in Roman painting in the mid-17th century.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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