Canvas re-lined 73 cm by 61 cm
Old frame 89 cm by 77 cm
The artist and his workshop have often replicated this Virgin and Child as the success was considerable. In variable formats, this scene was often taken as such and on a dark background, for the vast majority of works, which makes our painting even more interesting, which has a light background. Another variant, the presence or not of angels in the clouds. (On light background: July 2015 Christie's €97,000; January 2017, Sotheby's €93,000…). Our version is of very high quality. Only a certain excessive caution leads me to indicate “and studio”
Giovanni Battista Salvi Sassoferrato (1609; 1685)
The artist probably arrived quite young in Rome, where he entered the studio of Dominichino. Towards the end of the 1930s, he followed his master to Naples where he met Francesco Cozza, another disciple of Dominichino. The nostalgia for Umbrian painting of the quattrocento and Raphael, the years of apprenticeship with Dominichino are at the source of Sassoferrato's art. Originally from the Marches, a neighboring province of Umbria, the artist had to look very early at the examples of Umbrian painting from the 15th century. and experience the charm of the archaic, firm and serene paintings of Perugino, Spagna as well as the first works of Raphaël. A dozen or so seldom-cited paintings from Saint Peter's Basilica in Perugia constitute an important collection of copies after these painters. From these masters, Sassoferrato retains the rigor of a composition readable at first glance, the purity of the graphics, the rigidity of the characters, the softness of the landscapes and the light. There are many other copies after Raphael, Garofalo and Titian. The influence of Dominichino on Sassoferrato manifests itself above all in the application of the drawing and in the purity of the forms. The Cabinets of Drawings of Windsor Castle and the Art Institute of Chicago preserve a large number of drawings by Sassoferrato, most often preparatory studies of composition and detail, carefully squared, which reveal in their author qualities as a draftsman. peerless. The artist's production can be divided into three categories: altar paintings, small religious paintings and portraits. Sassoferrato could have, through public commissions, filled the churches of Rome with altarpieces. It was not so, for having incurred public disfavor early in his career. Among the altarpieces, mention should be made of the exceptional Nativity of Naples (Capodimonte), halfway between Caravaggio and Cozza, and the Annunciation of Aspra (Casperia), a boldly colored masterpiece; among the great compositions, let us mention the Crucifixion (Urbino, G. N.), the Lamentation of Christ (Berlin), the Virgins and Child (Dublin, N. G., and London, N. G.). It is mainly to the paintings of piety that Sassoferrato owes his notoriety. He created two or three compositions that he and his workshop repeated endlessly, to meet the demands of a large private clientele. The images of piety always represent the Virgin, either with the Child and angels (Brera, and Dresden), or alone, figured in the bust against a dark background, the head bowed and the hands joined (Dresden, Gg, and London, N.G.). The simplicity of the composition, the expression of a peaceful religious feeling, even sweet, the finesse of the execution ensured their success. Sassoferrato also painted the portraits of some of his patrons (Portrait of Bishop Ottavio Prati, Rome, Gal. Corsini; Portrait of Cardinal, Sarasota, Ringling Museum.