Giovanni Ghisolfi (Italian, 1613-1683) A rui...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionGiovanni Ghisolfi (Italian, 1613-1683)
A ruined classical temple of the Tuscan order with figures; Two classical temples in ruins with statue, bas-relief and figures (a pair), circa 1650-60
Oil on canvas
28-3/4 x 38-5/8 inches (73.0 x 98.1 cm)
David Corley Interior Design, Dallas, as of 1999 (sold as 'Attributed to Viviano Codazzi');
Private collection, Dallas, purchased from the above, October 1999.
These pendant pictures are a new addition to the oeuvre of Giovanni Ghisolfi, which is best known for architectural capricci that unite mostly fanciful ruins with antique statues, bas-reliefs, as well as genre figures in the tradition of Salvator Rosa and the Rome-based school of Flemish and Dutch painters known as the Bamboccianti. Years later, this type of subject matter gained wider prominence at the hands of the eighteenth-century artist, Giovanni Paolo Panini, who derived a certain inspiration from the painter.
Giovanni Ghisolfi was born in Milan, the son of Giuseppe Ghisolfi, an architect from Piacenza. He studied with Girolamo Ghignolo and learned architectural painting from his uncle, Paolo Antonio Volpini. In 1650 he traveled to Rome, where he befriended Salvator Rosa, but was called away to Lombardy nine years later. He then produced fresco cycles at the Certosa di Pavia (1661) and Vicenza (1664), Milan and finally Varese (1660s, 1680). In 1664, he is again recorded in Rome. On Ghisolfi, see the following monograph, which includes a catalogue of roughly 100 paintings: A. Busiri Vici, Giovanni Ghisolfi (1623-1683), un pittore milanese di rovine romane (ed. by F. Cosmelli), Rome, 1992.
The present pair is notable for its massive Roman temple architecture, which, in their tonalities and scale, recalls the ruin paintings of Viviano Codazzi (c. 1603-1672). As was typical of Ghisolfi's compositions, each work comprises a distant, panoramic view, almost no middle plane, and an artfully arranged foreground consisting of geometric forms (reliefs, cornices, plinths), inhabited by variously-posed, gesticulating rustic figures. The columned renderings set in complementary perspective in each work are typical of Ghisolfi's pendant pictures. A comparable pair, of the same size and approximate date, belong to the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. These were acquired in Rome in 1669 (that is, during Ghisolfi's lifetime) for Frederiksborg Castle (now the Nationalhistoriske Museum) in Copenhagen (Busiri Vici nos. 56-57), where they remain on deposit.
The staffage of the present pictures (as well as of the Copenhagen pair) recalls those in works by the artist's friend and colleague, Salvatore Rosa, especially the latter's set of 62 engravings, known as the Figurine, which was published in 1656.
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000.
Temple on left: re-varnished canvas; 1/2" vertical partial tear along lower edge beneath standing figure; 2 x 1" vertical repair in lower center between standing figure and running dog; 4" abrasion in lower left corner; under UV light: in-painting throughout the sky, notably in upper left corner, along top edge, and between columns; thin lines of in-paint in lower corners.
Framed Dimensions 45 X 35.25 Inches
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