Baroque and Rococo

 

Baroque and Rococo Art Map









Alessandro Magnasco


 



 

Alessandro Magnasco

(b Genoa, 4 Feb 1667; d Genoa, 12 March 1749).

Painter and draughtsman, son of Stefano Magnasco. He did not study with his father, who died when he was a small child. He went to Milan, probably between 1681 and 1682, and entered the workshop of Filippo Abbiati (1640–1715). His Christ Carrying the Cross (Vitali, priv. col., see Franchini Guelfi, 1987, fig. 238) faithfully repeats the subject and composition of Abbiati’s painting of the same subject (Pavia, Pin. Malaspina). Alessandro Magnasco’s early works were influenced by the harsh and dramatic art of 17th-century Lombardy, with dramatic contrasts of light and dark and livid, earthy tones, far removed from the bright, glowing colours of contemporary Genoese painting. The depiction of extreme emotion in the St Francis in Ecstasy (Genoa, Gal. Pal. Bianco) was inspired by Francesco Cairo’s Dream of Elijah (Milan, S Antonio Abate). However, Magnasco was already expressing himself in a very personal manner, with forms fragmented by swift brushstrokes and darting flashes of light. The Quaker Meeting (1695; ex-Vigaṇ priv. col., see Franchini Guelfi, 1991, no. 18) is one of his first genre scenes. In this early period he specialized as a figurista, creating small human figures to be inserted in the landscapes and architectural settings of other painters. He also began collaborating with the landscape painter Antonio Francesco Peruzzini, with a specialist in perspective effects, Clemente Spera, and other specialist painters; it was not until between 1720 and 1725 that Magnasco himself began to create the landscapes and architectural ruins that provide the setting for his figures.



 


Christ Adored by Two Nuns

c. 1715
Oil on canvas, 58 x 43 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice


 


Three Camaldolite Monks at Prayer

1713-14
Oil on canvas
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


 


Bacchanalian Scene

1710s
Oil on canvas, 110,5 x 167,5 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg


 

Halt of the Brigands

1710s
Oil on canvas, 112 x 162 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg


 

Interrogations in Jail

c. 1710
Oil on canvas
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


 

Three Capuchin Friars Meditating in their Hermitage

1713-14
Oil on canvas
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


 

Prayer of the Penitent Monks

Oil on canvas, 57 x 43 cm
Private collection

 

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