Thursday, May 15, 2014


Great Seventeenth century painting in Rome
"Sibyl of Cuma" about 1622 by Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641)
"The writing in Greek on the scroll reads 'There is only one God, infinite and unborn'. The last word is spelled incorrectly. The words referring to a God who has yet to be born would clearly indicate the ability of the woman to predict the the future. The vine that can be seen behind the wall probably refers to Christ. As the Sibyl in the Borghese Gallery, it is a highly idealized female image evoking a Raphael-like kind of beauty. The expansion of the forms here, however, is more insistent and even the brush strokes look different, broader and faster, as it is possible to see from the treatment of the drapery of her garments" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums -
"St. John the Baptist" 1602 and "Good Fortune" about 1595 masterpieces by the great Michelangelo Merisi aka Caravaggio (1571/1610)
"Caravaggio's St John the Baptist had an immense influence in the seventeenth century and beyond, until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It gave way to a new way of painting, a new way of looking at the world. No one would have thought it when Caravaggio, practically, sold it off, but the artist was beginning to change the course of European art" (Peter Robb)
"Caravaggio shows how one should use the lessons of the great: taking over the approach of some of Michelangelo's figures, he brings them down into living reality, he shows how reality, so well framed and focused, gets sharper somehow and how its contrasts result more distinct. The same can be said of the story: he does not remove reality, he gets closer, he doesn't cheer up, he dramatizes. The facts of the past are not shown as already occurred and judged, but caught in flagrante delicto of their happening here and now. We do not know causes and effects of immediate events; we cannot stand back, contemplate, judge, we must live the events. It is a moment, a fragment, but is a real-time, a live fragment of our existence" (Giulio Carlo Argan)
"It is a masterful combination of lightness and apparent intrinsic gravity: his disarming simplicity (God is simple, love is simple) can be disturbing at times pushing the viewers to think that what you see is too easy, launching into travel within the picture to find out the much-celebrated (and unnecessary) hidden meanings. His works are not icons, but they speak of flesh, blood, stupor, and torture, but also of grace, mystery and search for God" (Sergio Guarino)
"St. Matthew and the Angel", "Persian Sibyl", "Antony and Cleopatra" and "Burial and Glory of St. Petronilla" 1623 by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
"There is a weak beginning of abandonment of baroque tendencies: the figures are less vigorous and more clearly delineated, the rich palette is muted and the composition itself is balanced in a more classic way than in his pre-Roman works. However, just in the painting which manifests for the first time a return to a more easily appreciated classicism, the idea of lowering the body of the saint in the open grave, in which it seems the observer is, has an immediate attractiveness, unthinkable without the experience of Caravaggio. So a pictorially Baroque style, a Caravaggio echo and an anticipation of the early Baroque-Classicism combine in this crucial phase of Guercino's career" (Rudolf Wittkower)
"Romulus and Remus suckled by the wolf" 1617/18 by Peter Paul Rubens (1577/1640) painted in Antwerp. It is one of the best works of the Flemish painter for the vibrant richness of colors' substance: the twins are suckled by the wolf, in the presence of Rhea Silvia and the personification of the Tiber, as they were found by the shepherd Faustulus
"Allegory of the Intellect, Will and Memory" about 1624 by Simon Vouet (1590/1649)
"Madonna and Child with Angels" about 1610 and "Birth of the Virgin" on a blackboard by Francesco Albani (1578/1660)
Painting in Bologna by the Carracci, Guido Reni
"St. Sebastian" about 1615, "St. Jerome", "Lucretia", "Cleopatra" about 1640/42
"Compared to the immediately preceding version - Dublin's Cleopatra dated to 1639/40 - one can easily see as the Capitoline Cleopatra fully reflects the characteristics of the second period of the artist (thin painting, diaphanous colors, historical event reduced to essential data), elements that for a long time, starting already during his lifetime, have caused to consider the production of Guido Reni with extreme embarrassment, sometimes even pushing to unspeakable damning. Only in recent decades we have begun to understand the deep, brilliant revolution that Reni operates on his own artistic language, overcoming the complete formal elegance that made him famous" (Sergio Guarino)
  "Jesus and St. John", "Girl with a Crown" and "Sketch of the blessed soul" about 1641 by Guido Reni (1575/1642)
"Guido Reni maintained a constant experimental attitude: in the Girl with a Crown, made in his last years, there are disintegration of colors, until then polished, and great figurative simplicity" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"St. Francis adoring the Crucifix" about 1584 by Annibale Carracci (1560/1609)
"In the half-length cutting and in the choice to put in the foreground, as on a windowsill, the tools of meditation of the saint, the painting, which Posner termed 'the most lovable and sweet' among the representations of St. Francis by Annibale, was influenced by previous works of Bartolomeo Passerotti (...). One can detect here also Correggio's style for the first time, in the yielding sense of the form, and an accelleration of color that seems to consume, like internal combustion, the painted matter, now undone and impalpable" (Daniele Benati)
"Holy Family with Saints" about 1590 and "St. Cecilia" 1605 by Ludovico Carracci (1555/1619)
"The mystery of grace has been cleverly humanized through the simple representation of the affections. The novelty of the paintings by Ludovico, understanding art as popular communication, indicates an important factor in the new language of 1600s" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"Judith" by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713) a copy from original of Guido Reni
"Wedding of St. Catherine" 1590 by Denis Calvaert (about 1540/1619)
Baroque painting: Pietro da Cortona and his followers
"Rape of Helen" about 1631 and "David and Goliath" about 1640 by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62) from Viterbo, a pupil of Pietro da Cortona
"Meeting of Esau and Jacob" about 1640, "Joseph sold by his brothers" about 1640 by Giovanni Maria Bottalla (1613/44), a pupil of Pietro da Cortona
Eleven paintings by Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669) including:
"Triumph of Bacchus" 1624, "Madonna with Child", "The Chariot of Venus", "Sacrifice of Polyxena" about 1620, "Portrait of Pope Urban VIII" about 1627, "View of Allumiere" about 1625/30 and "Rape of the Sabine Women" about 1629 for the Sacchetti family
The Rape of the Sabine Women has been described as the manifesto of Baroque painting
"It is a clear example of the new way of interpreting the patrimony of ancient civilization. To illustrate a Historia (story) the artist carefully rebuilt a scenario faithful to historical truth (note the armor and clothes), but the drama, even though they are in an ideal space away from everyday life, comes alive with the spectacular vitality of a play acted in theater. Despite the balanced sequence of perspective backdrop wings, Pietro da Cortona exceeds the rules of symmetry and arranges clusters of figures according to a dynamic spin" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
It takes its name from the 1880 bequest of Count Francesco Cini who donated to the City of Rome his collection of porcelain and furniture including over 400 pieces of porcelain from Saxony, China, Japan and from Capodimonte (Naples) dating back to the 1700s. The collection also included watches, snuff boxes and objects of Oriental art
Bisque statuettes by Giovanni Volpato (1735/1803), small reproductions of famous classical statues destined to foreign collectors. They were the tourists souvenirs of the late eighteenth century
Six Flemish tapestries "Stories of Semiramide" about 1627/38 from the manufacture in Antwerp of Michel Wauters from cartoons by the Flemish Abraham van Diepenbeek (1596/1675)
"Portrait of the engraver Peter de Jode the older and his son Pieter the Younger" and "Portrait of painters Luca and Cornelius de Wael" 1627/29 by Anthony Van Dyck (1599/1641). Van Dyck's ability as a portrait painter was undisputed and it was always very appreciated his extraordinary ability to individualize the subjects of his portraits and his compositional balance which always used the best light effects
Outstanding "Crucifixion" by Gabriel Metsu (1629/67)
"Triumph of the Cross" by Leonard Bramer (1596/1674)
"Farmers" by Michael Sweerts (1618/64)
"Dance of peasants" by the bambocciante (painter who liked to represent real life situations of the poorer class) by Michelangelo Cerquozzi (1602/60)
"A soldier" and "A Witch" about 1650 by the brilliant and dark Salvator Rosa (1615/73)
"His fame is mainly due to the representation of landscapes, characterized by nature rough and wild, to the battle scenes, marked by crude expressivity, and to his preference for the dark tones and contrasts of light. He also painted allegorical portraits, mythical and biblical subjects where the moralizing and philosophical intent is accentuated by the dark and mysterious atmosphere, and even paintings related to magical themes" (Enciclopedia Treccani)
"Portrait of a Man" by Federico Zuccari (about 1542/1609)
"Battle" by Jacques Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79)
Three paintings "Portrait of a Man", "Portrait of a Man with Dog" and "Double Portrait of a Musician" 1578/85 by Bartolomeo Passerotti (1529/92)
Four big "Preparatory sketches" for the tapestries in the Tapestry Room and "Romulus and Remus" by Domenico Corvi (1721/1803) from Viterbo, a copy of the painting by Rubens
Seven "Views of Rome" on parchment and "View of St. Nile in Grottaferrata" by Gaspar van Wittel (1653/1736)
Dutch painter naturalized Italian, known also as Gaspare Vanvitelli or Gaspare degli occhiali (Caspar with glasses). He moved to Italy when he was twenty and he became an unbeatable landscape artist who also liked to use technical devices such as the optical box. He was the father of the great painter and architect Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73)
"Holy Family" by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713)
"Holy Family" about 1755 by Pompeo Batoni (1708/87)
"It joined in the Capitoline collections in the twentieth century. The painting is a copy of the numerous high-level production of Batoni, an example of a sophisticated neo-Raphael mood, with direct quotations of the most famous works of the painter from Urbino in the compositional structure itself and in the purity of the features of the Virgin, as well as in the extreme attention to detail. The sense of grace pervading the image refers to Parmigianino" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums -
"Self Portrait" about 1650 by the great Spanish painter Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599/1660) vivid portrait as a member of the Virtuosi of the Pantheon, the congregation of Roman artists. It was painted during his second stay in Rome in the years 1649/51
"Portrait of Cardinal Silvio Valenti Gonzaga" by Pierre Subleyras (1699/1749). Cardinal Gonzaga was the promoter of the Capitoline collection of paintings

No comments:

Post a Comment