(b Bologna, 4 Nov. 1575; d Bologna, 18 Aug. 1642). Bolognese painter, draughtsman, and occasional etcher. From about 1584 to 1593 he was a pupil of Calvaert, then transferred to the academy run by the Carracci, where he absorbed their tradition of clear, firm draughtsmanship. By 1601 he had moved to Rome and he was based there until 1614, although he made frequent visits to Bologna. He flirted briefly with the Caravaggesque manner (Crucifixion of St Peter, 1603, Pinacoteca, Vatican), but Raphael and the antique were the main inspiration for his graceful classical style, as is seen in his most celebrated work, Aurora (1614, Casino dell' Aurora, Palazzo Rospiglioso-Pallavacini, Rome), a captivatingly beautiful ceiling fresco painted for Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Reni was also a favourite artist of Borghese's uncle, Pope Paul V, but in spite of his success in Rome he settled in Bologna in 1614 and seldom left the city again. After Ludovico Carracci's death in 1619, he was unrivalled as Bologna's most important artist; indeed by this time he was probably the most sought-after painter in Italy. The products of his large studio (mainly religious works) were sent all over Europe and Rubens was the only contemporary painter who had a more glittering international clientele.Reni cut an impressive, aristocratic figure, always fashionably and expensively dressed and usually attended by servants. He earned a huge amount of money from his work, but he was often in debt because of his addiction to gambling. This was one aspect of his complex and decidedly odd character, which is described in detail by his friend and biographer Malvasia. Because of this remarkable account, more is known about Reni's inner life than that of any previous artist.