Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Various aspects of Roman classicist painting in the first half of the seventeenth century
"David and Goliath", "David and the Lion" and "Vision of St. Francis" about 1641 by Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669)
The two oils on canvas representing David are copies of frescoes now lost that Pietro da Cortona had painted during the second decade of the 1600s in the now destroyed Villa del Pigneto also called Villa Sacchetti. Other two are part of the collection of the Palazzo del Quirinale
"The stories of David, in the softness of soft and light colors show the most Arcadian side of Pietro da Cortona's classicism prevailing at the time, which influenced a whole circle of painters active in Rome in that period" (Maria Antonietta De Angelis)
"The vision of St. Francis is a very high example of the brilliant style of Pietro da Cortona. The wise gradation of light, which pulsates with gold in the mystic 'glory' in the background, fully illuminates the figure of the Child and turns itself off in the subdued brown robe of the Saint and on the ground, creating an effect of magical vision" (Maria Antonietta De Angelis)
"Victory of Gideon over the Midianites" 1624/25 by Nicolas Poussin (1594/1665). It is the only subject of all of his normally bright works to be set at night
"Judith and servant with Holofernes's head" 1611/12 by Orazio Lomi aka Orazio Gentileschi (1563/1639)
"It reaches a significant level of mingled fascination for the simultaneous presence of raw realism and elegance: the gruesome stains of clotted blood, splashed up into the arms of two women, have the pathos of superb realism. The light sharp and clear, that bleaches their faces, is derived from Caravaggio, while the sumptuous brocade, the complex jagged folds and the beautiful detail of the sword offer one of the vertices of Gentileschi's realism" (Maria Antonietta De Angelis)
"St. Francis Xavier" by Anthony Van Dyck (1599/1641)
"Apotheosis of Vincenzo I Gonzaga fourth Duke of Mantua" first half of 1600s by an artist from the workshop of Peter Paul Rubens (1577/1640)
"Vision of St. Bruno", "St. Jerome" and "St. Jerome in a Landscape" by Pier Francesco Mola (1612/66) and school
"St. Ignatius of Loyola" and "St. Francis Xavier" by the Flemish painters Gerard Seghers and Jan Wildsen. From the Chiesa del Gesù (Jesus Church), they had been probably used during the canonization ceremony of the two Jesuits in 1622
"Fortune restrained by Love" by an artist of the school of Guido Reni
"Adoration of the Magi" by the Flemish painter Vincent Malo (1600/44)
"St. Sebastian cured by Irene" by the French Trophime Bigot (about 1579/1649)
Trophime Bigot was a painter who lived in Rome from 1620 to 1634 but of whom very little is known. He is often confused for technical and stylistic similarities with two other painters, the so-called Master Jacomo and one of their students. He specialized in night scenes and figures portrayed half-length
"Village Fair" about 1620 by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
"One of the few realistic landscape compositions to which Guercino dedicated himself before entering the great circle of sacred production that gave him fame" (Maria Antonietta De Angelis)
"The Holy Family with St. John" by Giovanni Francesco Castiglione (1641/1710)
"Inside view of the Chiesa Nuova for the canonization of St. Philip Neri" 1622 maybe by Andrea Sacchi (1599/1661) interesting document that shows the Chiesa Nuova before the Baroque additions
Diverse schools of painting in the second half of the seventeenth century
"Rinaldo's Farewell to Armida" about 1665 by Giovanni Bonati (about 1635/1681)
"Baptism of Christ" by Pierre-Louis Cretey
"Garland of flowers with Madonna and Child" by Daniel Seghers (1590/1661) and Erasmus Quellin II
"Garland of flowers with St. Ignatius" about 1624 by Daniel Seghers and Hendrik Van Balen
"Orpheus, Pluto and Proserpina" first half of the 1600s by an artist of the Dutch school
"Sacred furniture and musical instruments" and "Sacred furniture and damask draperies" by Francesco Fieravino aka Maltese, painter of whom very little is known but who is definitely known to have been active in Rome between 1650 and 1680
"Portrait of an actor" about 1630/40 by Pietro Paolini (1603/81) from Lucca, with a gesture of the hand of the character portrayed, almost as an invitation to enter the theatrical fiction
"Madonna with Child" about 1650 by G.B. Salvi aka Sassoferrato (1609/85)
"The Salvi, born in Sassoferrato, is an artist who turns on the one hand on examining his contemporary painters (Reni and Domenichino) and on the other hand his work as a copyist of the great Renaissance painters (Perugino, Raphael, Titian) leads him to develop a style of archaic purism and a technique with bright colors, such as enamel. More typical qualities of Sassoferrato are the love for accuracy of details and a solid sculptural processing of forms" (Maria Antonietta De Angelis)
"Fruit and Flowers" by Franz Werner von Tamm (1865/1724)
"Flowers and Fruit" by Andrea Belvedere (about 1652/1732)
"Two still lifes with classical elements and fruit" by Pietro Navarra active in Rome in late eighteenth century and early eighteenth century
"The still life of Pietro Navarra are characterized by a crepuscular and melancholy vein twilight highlighted by ripe and flabby fruit (symbol of decay) and the soft colors tending to dark shades" (Maria Antonietta De Angelis)
"Game meat" maybe by Baldassare de Caro (1689/1750)
"St. Francis Xavier dying" about 1675 study for the altarpiece of S. Andrea al Quirinale and "Angels Musicians" about 1672 study for the dome of the Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus) by G.B. Gaulli aka Baciccio (1639/1709)
"Baciccio is the protagonist of the end of a century which, thanks to its surge of exuberant painting (light, motion, color), pass in a few years from the Baroque to the Rococo style. (...) A painting style that, from the new science, knows how to grasp, in the wake of Bernini, the main discovery: the cosmic vision of the world. A painting style that flips unconventionally from sacred to profane, who skillfully manages to confuse Heaven with Olympus" (Maurizio Fagiolo dell'Arco)
"Battle" about 1659/60 by Jacques Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79)
"Hunter" maybe by Philipp Peter Roos aka Rosa da Tivoli (1651/1705)
"Martyrdom of St. Peter of Arbues" by Bartolomè Esteban Murillo (1618/82). St. Peter of Arbues was the Grand Inquisitor of the Kingdom of Aragon and was killed in 1485 by a group of rioters. The painting was donated to Pope Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti (1846/78) by King Alfonso XII of Spain in 1876 nine years after the canonization of the saint
"St. Peter baptizing Sts. Process and Martinian" about 1630 by Andrea Camassei (1602/49) sketch for a fresco in the Basilica of St. Peter destroyed to make room for the tomb of Clement XIII Rezzonico (1758/69) by Antonio Canova. The fresco was considered the masterpiece of Andrea Camassei
"Portrait of an old philosopher aka the Alchemist" maybe by David III Ryckaert (1610/90)
"Herd of horses" by the Flemish Pieter Van Bloemen aka Stendardo (1657/1720)
"Portrait of a Man with the symbols of vanitas" by the Flemish Pieter Meert (about 1620/69)
"A typical moralizing portrait of Flemish kind: the man who definitely is a real character, lays his hand on a skull, on the table there is a tulip cut. These two symbols of 'vanitas' provide the painting with a vocation of 'Memento Mori' (don't forget you must die) reminder, very popular in Protestant figurative art" (Maria Antonietta De Angelis)
Painters in Rome in the first half of the eighteenth century
"Clement IX" Rospigliosi (1667/69) 1669 by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713)
"The nonchalance of the painting technique outlines the clothes with great fluidity, capturing in the draperies the sparkle of velvet, while the sharp examination of the noble personality of the pope concentrates on the face, making this work a direct consequence of the Maratta's study of the Innocent X by Velázquez in 1650" (Maria Antonietta De Angelis)
"For effectively realistic, meticulous execution, perfect balance of attitude and expression, balanced interaction between introspective level and public exhibition of expression, and of course for pictorial splendor, the painting of Maratta (of which there is an autograph replica at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg) is placed next to masterpieces by Antonie Van Dyck and Diego Velázquez in an ideal high table of the seventeenth-century portraits of powerful men" (Luca Bortolotti - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
"Miracle of St. Toribio from Lima" 1726, "Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane" 1746 and "Descent from the Cross" 1746 by Sebastiano Conca (1680/1764) and "Madonna" school of Sebastiano Conca
"In the vast canvas of the Miracle of St. Toribio of Lima, painted on the occasion of the canonization of the saint on the 10th of December 1726, Conca is influenced in this classic and monumental composition by the lesson of Carlo Maratta, to which he adds formal features associated with the nascent rococo style. So the artist manages to unite 'in seductive chromatics those elements that usually characterize the exotic in the papiers-peints (costumes, lush vegetation, mysterious landscapes) in a set with authentically fabulous character' (Casale)" (Anna Maria De Strobel)
"The Virgin Mary appears to St. John Nepomucene" 1746 model for the altarpiece of the church of S. Maria della Pace in Brescia and "Pius VI" Braschi (1775/99) 1775 by Pompeo Batoni (1708/87). The portrait of Pius VI is a study for the first official portrait of Pope kept in the Museum of Rome
"George IV of England" 1819 by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769/1830) donated by George IV himself to Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800/23) in about 1820
On the table that belonged to Napoleon, defeated by George IV, there is a letter of Pius VII. George IV was regent of the throne of the United Kingdom from 1811 to 1820 in place of his father George III who was mental ill. He reigned as King until 1830 when he died at 68 years alcoholic and obese. He never loved his wife, Queen Caroline Amalie of Brunswick and it seems that she had as a lover the painter Sir Thomas Lawrence himself
"Madonna and Child with St. Anthony of Padua and a holy bishop" by G.B. Crosato (about 1697/1758) from Treviso
"The picture is similar to the frescoes painted by the artist in Stupinigi for the physiognomy of the figures, but also for the 'affective tone, unique, in that air between the soft and dreamy, on the verge of blossoming into melancholy, or just enhanced by a wave of anxious curiosity' (Mariuz)" (Anna Maria De Strobel)
"St. Michael the Archangel strikes Lucifer" by Corrado Giaquinto 1720/25 (1703/66) and "Satan before the Lord" mid 1700s by an artist of the school of Corrado Giaquinto
"Portrait of Benedict XIV" Lambertini (1740/58) 1740 and "Holy Family" 1735/40 by Giuseppe Maria Crespi aka Spagnolo (1665/1747)
Crespi was a friend of Cardinal Lambertini, Bolognese like him, and he originally had made this portrait with the robes of cardinals. He changed them into a papal dress after the election to the papal throne
"Triumph of Faith" about 1774 and "Death of St. Andrew Avellino" by Gaetano Gandolfi
"Drowning of St. Clement" 1725 by Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674/1755) altarpiece for the Clementine Chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter for which Ghezzi painted two more canvases. They were removed in 1784 when Carlo Marchionni completed the Sacristy
"If from an iconographic point of view the painting respects the traditional canons of narration of the story, the connotation of artificiality, which brings the sacred fact to the present, is given by Ghezzi's self portrait in modern clothing and feathered hat, with his hand pointing to the anchor, symbolic attribute of martyrdom. The artist expresses all his artistic ability in shaping the contours and folds of the clothing of the figures, accentuated in the muscles, in the rendering of the waves and makes 'tragic and comic appear inseparably united in this painting' (Lo Bianco)" (Anna Maria De Strobel)
"Christ with the Samaritan woman at the well" by the excellent Francesco Trevisani (1656/1746) from Istria
"Trevisani, who arrived in Rome in 1678, had as a protector from the beginning of the eighteenth century the influential Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. In particular, it is thanks to the interest of this great patron that the artist succeeded in becoming one of the most renowned painters in Europe and to build a very prestigious career, so much to be defined in the last years of his long life, 'the only good painter of our day'. He is fully embedded in the Roman cultural climate, also adhering to the ideas of Arcadia which he carried in the visual domain. In fact, his compositions, while emphasizing the theatrical aspect, show a taste focused on the poetic of feelings" (Anna Maria De Strobel)
"Portrait of Voltaire" about 1775 by the Swiss Jean Huber (1721/86) who specialized in portraying the great writer and philosopher enough to be called Huber-Voltaire
"St. Anthony the Abbot" by an artist of the school of Alessandro Magnasco
Eight paintings of "Astronomical observations": "Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Comet" 1711 by Donato Creti (1671/1749)
They were painted for the Bolognese count Luigi Ferdinando Marsili, who donated them to Pope Clement XI Albani (1700/21) to convince him to build an astronomical observatory. He succeded and so Clement XI inaugurated in Bologna in 1711 the first public observatory in Italy. There is no painting of the planet Uranus which was discovered only in 1781
Wenzel Peter
"Self Portrait" 1813, four paintings of animals and "Earthly Paradise" with Adam and Eve and 240 different species of animals by the Bohemian artist Wenzel Peter (1745/1829) much appreciated by Gregory XVI Cappellari (1831/46)
He was known as the "pet portraitist". He copied Raphael's Loggias under the direction of Christopher Unterberger in the Grand Hermitage in St. Petersburg for the Tsarina Catherine II
Works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for St. Peter's Basilica
Models in clay and straw by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) for the Altar of the Chair and the Altar of Holy Sacrament in St. Peter:
"Five Angels" two of them done in collaboration with Ercole Ferrata (1610/86) and Ercole Antonio Raggi (1624/86)
"Portrait of Carlo Maderno (1556/1629)" by anonymous
"Marble plaque of 1638 commemorating the construction of one of the towers of St. Peter" begun by Bernini and then demolished because it was threatening to collapse. A resounding fiasco for the great master that almost ruined his brilliant career
Collection of icons
Selection of the most significant works from the collection of about 150 icons in the Vatican Picture Gallery
"Christ said eye severe" of the late eighteenth century, Russian art
Huge "Iconostasis of Kefalonia" 1808 School of Kefalonia
"The icon should not be considered mere figure, 'image', nor can it be the personal interpretation of an artist. It 'shows' each sacred Image, which means that it is suggestive of the prototype that it describes, in the sense that it constitutes one (of the possible) hypostases. It must therefore be regarded as the sort of bridge that allows the faithful to approach, and contemplate, through the specific form taken every time, the supernatural Figure object of faith. (...) As the Divine is humanly unrepresentable, the Incarnation of Christ indicates the possibility, indeed the necessity, to make tangible to the human senses, and in this case to the eye, the One who entered into human history as a human being" (Cristina Pantanella)

No comments:

Post a Comment