The Tarantino Gallery exhibits Roman Baroque


1. Melchiore Cafà (1636-1667)
Fragment of a bozzetto for
The Martyrdom of Saint Eustachius
Terracotta - 27 x 25 x 8 cm
Paris, Galerie Antoine Tarantino
Photo : Galerie Tarantino

3/12/08 — Art Market — Paris, Galerie Antoine Tarantino — By coincidence, at the same time as we decided to publish a special coverage on the Roman Baroque the recently opened Tarantino Gallery in Paris has chosen to devote its second exhibition to the same subject. It could not have been easy to assemble such a coherent ensemble. Among the works the dealer is presenting, we would first like to remark on two sculptures. One is a terracotta fragment by Melchiore Cafà, a student of Ercole Ferrara, strongly influenced by Bernini who feared him as a potential rival, as Jennifer Montagu reminds us in the catalogue entry. There are not many works by this sculptor as he died at the age of 31. This bozzetto is a preparation for a relief which was executed for the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone on the Piazza Navona where it remains today.
The second terracotta is ascribed to a disciple of Cafà, Pietro Papaleo. This is a seated figure of Saint Pius V which recalls papal effigies for tombs, although it is not clear what exactly this was in preparation for. The extreme virtuosity of the sculpture and the rendering of the sovereign pontiff’s robes are admirable.


2. Guillaume Courtois (1628-1679)
Virgin with Child
Oil on canvas -
Paris, Galerie Antoine Tarantino
Photo : Galerie Tarantino

3. Luigi Garzi (1638-1731)
Domine Quo Vadis
Oil on canvas - 63.3 x 48 cm
Paris, Galerie Antoine Tarantino
Photo : Galerie Tarantino


Several paintings are truly remarkable and would be right at home on the wall of the Roman Baroque museum in Ariccia (see article). The most beautiful one, in our opinion, is a Virgin with Child by Guillaume Courtois (ill. 2) which is not reproduced in the catalogue as it was acquired by the gallery owner only two days before inaugurating the exhibition. An early study by Baciccio for the vaulted ceiling in the Gesu church is also extremely remarkable for its virtuosity. Also of interest, reflecting Lemme’s taste (see interview), is a Dominie Quo Vadis by Luigi Garzi (ill. 3) and a large Lazzaro Baldi (The Virgin with Child and Saint John the Baptist Appearing to Saint Peter of Alcantara).
Equally noteworthy is a beautiful Cortona-like drawing, an allegorical representation of Louis XIV surrounded by Minerva, Victory and Saturn Crushing Ignorance as well as a Portrait of Bernini, a red chalk work by Baciccio.

Version française


Didier Rykner, mercredi 3 décembre 2008



imprimer Print this article

Previous article in News Items : The Tournai Cathedral threatened by an architectural project

Next article in News Items : Exhibition of 16th to 19th century French works at the Terradès Gallery