Giovanni Baptista Gaulli, called Baciccio, one of the most eminent Genoese painters, was no less celebrated for portraits than for history. Pascoli says he painted no less than seven different Pontiffs, besides many illustrious personages. Possessing great colloquial powers, he engaged his sitters in the most animated conversation, and thus transferred their features to his canvas, so full of life and expression, that they looked as though they were about to speak to the beholder. He also had a remarkable talent of painting the dead, so as to obtain an exact resemblance of deceased persons whom he had never seen. For this purpose, he drew a face at random, afterwards altering it in every feature, by the advice and under the inspection of those who had known the original, till he had improved it to a striking likeness.