Girolamo Massei. Saint Francis

Starting price
€ 3 000
Auction dateClassic
17.05.2024 18:00UTC +02:00
VAN HAM Kunstauktionen GmbH
Event location
Germany, Köln
The auction is completed. No bids can be placed anymore.
ID 1208002
Lot 1007 | Girolamo Massei. Saint Francis
Lucca ca. 1540-45 - ca. 1620

Title: Saint Francis.
Date: ca. 1590-1600.
Technique: Oil on copper.
Measurement: 69 x 53.5cm.
Frame: Framed.
Private ownership, Italy.

Herwarth Röttgen, 01.07.2020, copy available.

The painting of Saint Francis in Ecstasy is considered an exemplary piece for the painting style of the Roman Catholic Reformation after the Council of Trent. Numerous paintings and engravings were created for "speaking" to the believers who were not capable of reading and for exalting wthis way God and the saint in easy language.

The present copper painting is bound to this aim, as well. It depicts how the body of the Crucified appears to Saint Francis with the wings of the seraphim, while the brown cassock glows under the heavenly radiance. It is a work by the painter Girolamo Massei, who was born in Lucca in 1540 and died in the same city in 1620. In 1576/77 he was active in the Geographical Gallery of the Vatican, then in the monastery of the Trinità dei Monti and in the church of Saints Nereus and Achilleus. His work is described by Giovanni Baglione in his "Vite de'pittori scultori et architetti" of 1642.
Herwarth Röttgen, to whom we owe today's convincing attribution, connects this painting with the figures of bishops and canons in the apse of the church of Saints Nereus and Achilles, listening to the sermon of Saint Gregory the Great. With this approximation the source of inspiration must be considered too: a print by Cornelis Cort from 1575 after Girollamo Muziano.
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