Friday, February 12, 2016


Room XXIV - Painters from the Emilia Region

“Triptych” with, on the front, “Pietà with Sts. Ermenegildo and Cecilia” and, on the back, “Michael the Archangel and Guardian Angel” about 1604 for Cardinal Odoardo Farnese, and, perhaps, “Portrait of a Young Man” about 1592 by Annibale Carracci (1560/1609)
“In contact with the work of Raphael and ancient art, Carracci developed the great compositions with classic simplicity and inventive freedom, pursuing a harmonious blend of the natural empirical world and classical tradition. (...) It was too firmly emphasized the contrast between the eclectic classicism of Annibale and rigorous anticlassicism of Caravaggio: in reality both are flatly opposed to the Mannerist style, the first proposing to restore the sixteenth century classicism, the second aiming at a total renewal of the contents and forms of art. Huge was his influence in Italy and outside” (Enciclopedia Treccani)
“Cupid Asleep” about 162 and “Magdalene” about 1632 by Guido Reni (1575/1642) to whom is tentatively attributed also the portrait of “Beatrice Cenci”
The Cupid Asleep was painted by Guido Reni on a wall of the palace in the presence of Cardinal Francesco Barberini, to show his skills
“Guido helped to create to a very considerable extent that second form of classicism that, once exhausted the direct impulse of Raphael, was looking for a new 'perfect form', the Ideal in which incarnate” (Maria Antonietta De Angelis)
“Beatrice Cenci, daughter of the rich and powerful Francesco Cenci, violent and dissolute man, suffered the tortures of the father and was confined, along with her stepmother, in the fortress of Petrella Salto, near Rieti. Exasperated by constant ill-treatment and in accordance with the stepmother and two brothers, also victims of their bullying father, she meditated her father's murder which took place in 1598. Found out, after a trial followed by the entire citizenry, she was sentenced to death by order of Clement VIII Aldobrandini (1592/1605), who perhaps longed to seize the assets confiscated from the family. Beatrice was decapitated on the square of Ponte Sant'Angelo in September 1599 in the presence of a huge crowd of Romans and she immediately became a symbol of oppressed innocence” (Rossella Vodret)
“Mary Magdalene” about 1625 and “Allegory of Peace” maybe by Simon Vouet (1590/1649)
“The interpretation that he develops from his famous models met during his Italian stay (Caravaggio and the great masters from Emilia) had the consent of Louis XIII, of whom he became the official painter. At the head of a large group of artists, Vouet executed many decorative projects in the residences of the French nobility, with great success between the third and fourth decade of 1600” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“St. Ursula with the Virgin Martyrs” about 1623 and “Venus plays the harp (Music)” about 1632 by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647)
He was a pupil of Agostino and Annibale Carracci and affirmed his genius in Rome with a spectacular and daring painting style
Among the Emilia painters he was the most at odds with the current classical painting and championed freedom, becoming the most representative painter of the Roman Baroque
“Penitent Mary Magdalene” by Guido Cagnacci (1601/63) pupil of Guido Reni, but influenced by Caravaggio
Among the many Mary Magdalene in this museum this is undoubtedly the most blatantly erotic
“Painting and Sculpture”, “St. Jerome sealing a letter” 1617, “Saul against David” and “Flagellation” about 1658 by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
“The stor of the evolution of Guercino's style (...) is somewhat troubled. The works of the early period (1615/20) are carried out with a bold, dramatic pictorially ('prima maniera gagliarda', early assertive style, it was later described by the artist himself in a letter) and place him in the forefront among those artists who in the second and third decades of the century were exploring possibilities and defining the character of the style now known as 'baroque'. On the other hand the experiences of his stay in Rome - especially the classical influence of Domenichino and Guido Reni and his friendship with the influential art theorist monsignore Agucchi, secretary of Gregory XV - prompted in Guercino's style a definite deviation in the classical direction. The vigorous dynamism of forms in space of his 'first manner' left room to a more planimetric organization. The constant and independent movement of light on the forms is converted into a gradation of warmer light that defines them” (Dwight C. Miller - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
“Self Portrait” about 1615 by Orazio Borgianni (1578/1616)
“St. John the Baptist points to Christ” and “Portrait of a Woman” by Pier Francesco Mola (1612/66)
“Portrait of a Woman” by Ludovico Carracci (1555/1619)

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