Paolo Mei

(1831 - 1900)

Paulo Meil was born in Rome on 18th June 1931. His father Domenico died when he was three years old and his mother Matilde, died when he was 19 years old. He was a pupil of Tommaso Minardi (1787-1871), then a professor at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome and by 1856 he had formed a strong friendship with Cesare Fracassini (1838-1868) who helped him obtain many commissions. He was a painter Directoire, or scenes showing imaginary people from earlier times in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Directoire painting was very popular in the nineteenth century and none were better than the Italians at the painting of elegant people in all their fabulous silks and satins. Mei painted with great attention to detail usually on a fairly modest scale and, with a jewel-like quality; he preferred to paint on fine mahogany panels. However, as a member of the Corporation of Virtuosos in 1893 he assisted in the painting of the frescoes in the churches of San Lorenzo and of St. Lucia del Gonfalone, both in Rome.