Giovani Ghisolfi (Milan 1623-1683), attributed / workshop
View of classical architectural ruins with Pythagoras pretending to return from Hades
Oil on canvas, cm. 70 x 84
In frame cm. 86 x 100
The painting in question, depicting an architectural glimpse with classical ruins, is attributable to the work of the Milanese painter Giovanni Ghisolfi and takes up the work that the painter created for the renowned collection of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, great-grandson of Pope Alexander VIII, who later passed to Roman collection Almagià (http: //catalogo.fondazionezeri.unibo.it/scheda/opera/54064/Ghisolfi%20Giovanni%2C%20Pitagora%20rieme ...)
In the left area you can see the ruins of an ancient temple, which evoke that of Saturn in the Roman Forum, while the animated scene in the foreground is a fascinating representation of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras as he comes out of the cave he built himself, where he decided to retire to meditate and study philosophy, then telling his followers who were awaiting his return that he had reached Hades and was therefore resurrected.
The scenery is flooded with a gloomy light to evoke the late evening, where the rays that stand out on the pillars and boulders have an evocative, metaphysical effect, and with the clouds on the horizon that give brighter colors.
The painting is a good testimony of Ghisolfi's classicist 'ruinism', and in particular of his mature phase, characterized by constructions orchestrated with measured and skilful balance. This is the softer and freer pictorial style of the Lombard-born painter, who owes much to the influence of Salvator Rosa, with whom he was a close friend during his stay in Rome in the 1950s.
Ghisolfi was a forerunner compared to many artists of the following century who drew fruitful ideas from this last phase of the Milanese master by birth but Roman by adoption. Precisely in the papal city he matured his training in these particular iconographies, centered on the ancient Roman remains, and thanks to which he became the most successful specialist in this vein.
Upon examination of the Wood lamp, minor restoration interventions are highlighted, but overall the state of conservation is excellent.
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