Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari
(Genoa, 1598 – 1669)
The Holy Family
Oil on canvas, cm 99 x 111 (with frame cm 115 x127)
Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari is one of the most famous masters of the 17th century Genoese school.
Born around 1598, the artist, introduced to painting by Bernardo Castello, soon went to Bernardo Strozzi’s studio (circa 1613-1619), where his true formation took place, as his early works testify. Soon, however, Giovanni Andrea shows that he must distinguish himself from the elegant patterns of late international Mannerism, learned from the latter, going towards a firmer and more compact matter, towards a more naturalistic conception.
In the “strozzismo” of the first years and in contact with the art of Procaccini, Morazzone, Cerano, Barabino, his language also opens up to a new pictorial sweetness and a surface elegance, whereas during the fourth decade he There is a larger approach to Sarzana and the Flemish and Vandicjian painting technique. This is the era of numerous and sometimes large altarpieces, marked among others by the relationship with the Capuchin of Alassio, Francesco Maria Giancardi, for him a true spiritual guide and a master of theological concepts. ideas, undeniable profit in the rendering of the subjects represented.
After this period of renowned church paintings, from the forties of the 17th century, Giovanni Andrea appears more and more inclined to satisfy, even with paintings of more modest proportions, the needs of a private client, destined for a cultured collection (Biblical subjects) or a domestic and intimate devotion.
At this time and at this time, it seems to us that the Holy Family in object belongs, expression of a more sincere vein, devoid of rhetoric. Even the color is exalted, consisting of contrasts softened by lights and shadows and reflections, through flashes of light of the serpentine tendency: in the center of the composition, wearing a rosaceous robe, lies the Child, sitting on Marie’s lap, holding his hand; on the opposite side, Saint-Joseph, with the stick to the left, leans, with his right hand, on a stone base visible in the foreground.
The sentimental intensity of the contained gestures and the silent serenity, the stylistic characteristics and the particular material component of the execution led to this painting being sent to Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari.
The painting, in the first painting, was the subject of a conservative restoration at the Taddei Davoli laboratory in Reggio Emilia. It is accompanied by the expertise of the art historian Massimo Pirondini.
It comes out of collection with a Salvator Rosa frame in lacquered wood and gilded mecca late 17th.