Stefano Torelli was born in Bologna in 1712, the son of an Italian painter
Felice Torelli (b Verona, 9 September 1667; d Bologna, 11 June 1748). Stefano
started his career in Bologna, later he moved to Venice, where he painted
in both fresco and oil technique. By the 1750s, Torelli was in Dresden.
Torelli worked for the Elector Frederick-Augustus II and executed altarpieces,
ceiling paintings and portraits. He then worked in Lübeck (1759–61)
and in 1762 came to St. Petersburg, where he was appointed Professor of
the Academy of Arts. Stefano Torelli stayed in St. Petersburg to the end
of his life. He died and was buried in St. Petersburg in 1780. His son
Antonio Torelli (d 1754) was also a painter.
Stefano Torelli is outstanding and one of the most gifted artists who
ever came to Russia in the 18th century. “His imagination is inexhaustible,
his brush is light, and his compositions are unstrained and free.” (Paintings
of the 18th-early 20th centuries from the Reserves of the Russian Museum.
Russian Genre Painting. XVIII century. by Ya. Brook. Moscow.
Paintings of the 18th-early 20th centuries from the Reserves of
the Russian Museum. by K. Mikhailova and G. Smirnov. Leningrad. 1982.