Simone Cantarini (* 1612 in Pesaro; 15. October 1648 in Verona), also called Il Pesarese, was an Italian painter.
Cantarini received his first artistic lessons from the painter Giovanni Giacomo Pandolfi in Verona. With his support Cantarini later moved to Venice to the studio of Claudio Ridolfi. After some time, when he had the opportunity to become Guido Renis pupil, Cantarini went to Bologna.
The collaboration between Cantarini and Reni was very problematic from the beginning due to Cantari's overestimation of his own abilities. After a short time Cantarini broke up and went to Rome. There he studied the masters of antiquity, but he also studied Raphael's works closely. Later Cantarini returned to Bologna and settled there as an artist. From now on Cantarini created a large number of pictures, but was ultimately unable to find his own style; in his artistic work Cantarini always remained in the shadow of his teacher Reni.
The Duke of Mantua, Carlo I. Gonzaga, appointed Cantarini to his court. Cantarini's lack of control and vanity soon ended his stay in Mantua. After a dispute as to whether a portrait of the Duke was similar enough, Cantarini went to Verona offended and misunderstood. There he fell into depression and died there at the age of about 36 on 15 October 1648. Contemporary rumours suspected suicide by poison; however, this could neither be proven nor refuted.