Two Italian Paintings Acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

1. Daniele Crespi (c. 1595 ?-1630))
Mocking of Christ
Oil on Canvas - 108 x 91 cm
Los Angeles, County Museum of Art
Photo : Lacma

28/5/13 - Acquisitions - Los Angeles, County Museum of Art - In our review of TEFAF 2007, we reproduced a very beautiful painting by Daniele Crespi presented by G. Sarti (see article. This work, on view at the exhibition on Caravaggism currently showing at this Parisian gallery (we will soon discuss it further), has just been judiciously acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (ill. 1).

Daniele Crespi, and we have already said this several times, is not represented at the Louvre, as is the case for many painters from the Milanese school, and we find it unfortunate that this Mocking of Christ, which was on the French art market for quite some time, was not purchased by the Parisian museum. We share in the happiness of the LACMA and can only hope that the Louvre’s new president, Jean-Luc Martinez, will see fit to encourage the Département des Peintures to once again buy 17th and 18th century Italians.

A student of Giovanni Battista Crespi, known as Il Cerano, Daniele Crespi reveals here Caravaggio’s realism (the bearded figure on the left) as well as his luminism but also the influence of three Milanese painters who made the transition between Mannerism and the Baroque, Cerano himself, Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, kown as Il Morazzone and Giulio Cesare Procaccini. Their presence is particularly evident in the sinuous shape of Christ’s body, the caricatural aspect of the executioner on the right and, above all, the aversion to empty spaces translating into a very compact composition in which the protagonists occupy the entire area of the canvas [1].

2. Francesco Trevisani (1656-1746)
Oil on Copper - 22.5 x 17.5 cm
Los Angeles, County Museum of Art
Photo : Adam Williams Fine Art

The second, and more modest, painting purchased by the LACMA was also presented at Maastricht, though in 2013, at the Adam Williams Gallery. This is a small copper by Francesco Trevisani (ill. 2), a painter who trained in Venice then arrived in Rome in 1676, spending the rest of his life there. His masterpiece is the décor of a chapel in the church of San Silvestro in Capite (1696), done in a "tenebrist" style he would later abandon.
This Pietà (a subject often treated by the artist), though painted in light shades, still toys with luminous effects in the treatment of the evening sky where we see the Cross of Calvary standing out in the background.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mercredi 29 mai 2013


[1] Cerano, Morazzone and Procacci painted together the Martyrdom of Saints Rufine and Seconde, known also as Quadro delle tre mani which presents these same characteristics.

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