Girolamo GIOVENONE (Barengo (Novara) c. 1490-Verceil...

Lot 42
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Girolamo GIOVENONE (Barengo (Novara) c. 1490-Verceil...

Girolamo GIOVENONE (Barengo (Novara) c. 1490-Verceil 1555) Virgin and Child Walnut panel, one board, not parquet flooring 76.6 x 45cm Old restoration Fronton of the frame detached on one side Etat : Revers : traces of insect galleries xylophages Surface picturale : visible cracks, restoration mainly in the Virgin's coat. Inscription : In classical letters on the edge of the neckline of the dress of the vierge : AVE MARIA GRATIA Against a backdrop of mountainous landscape punctuated by architectural complexes emerging on a bright sky, the Virgin holding the Child sits on the ground as the Virgin of Humility, while two angels flying crown her. Behind this group, Saint Joseph lies down on the grass. In the foreground on the left, the young Saint John the Baptist holds the lamb, symbol of Christ, with his right hand, while on the left he hands a bunch of grapes to the Child. The two toddlers are totally naked. Christ encloses in his left hand a rounded shape that could be a complementary Eucharistic bread of the grape bunch. Unknown from critical literature, this painting should be placed in Girolamo Giovenone's catalogue of works. From a family of Piedmontese artists whose father was " maestro di legname " (cabinetmaker) and the painters brothers, Girolamo worked mainly in Verceil in the family workshop. The Dispute of Jesus with the Doctors signed and dated 1513 (Jacksonville, Florida, Cummer Gallery of art) and the altarpiece of the Buronzo family dated 1514 (Turin, Galleria Sabauda n°39) are the first known documents of the painter's activity where his artistic personality is affirmed. It is thought, however, that he had to train in Verceil with Martino Spanzotti, who was active in this city between 1481 and 1498, and in the presence of a companion from maître : Defendente Ferrari de Chivasso. Girolamo's career oscillated between the influences of the latter artist with whom he worked between 1500 and 1510 and those of Gaudenzio Ferrari - who was present in Verceil as early as 1508 - whose impact became more prominent after 1520, bringing the execution of our painting closer to Girolamo's early works, where the influence of Defendente Ferrari still remains preponderant. The general composition anchors the virginal group - of a reminiscent scent - within a landscape whose relationship with that of the Assumption (Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts) from the beginning of Girolamo's career around 1506 or 1509 is obvious. The arrangement in superimposed registers, the detail of the rocks, the important volumetric masses with rounded peaks dominating the architecture as well as the soft nuances of the colour are similaires ; the tunics notched on the thighs of the flying angels or the treatment of the draperies of the Virgin with heavy crevices where the luminosity vibrates in the undulating movements of the pleated, are as many common points shared with the Assumption. The luminous golden accents of the characters' hair and the treatment of the radiant haloes are still in the tradition of Defendente, as is the physiognomy of the delicately chubby children. Of the latter, Giovenone still kept the scheme in the later Adoration of the Child carried out around 1510-1512-1516 (Verceil, Museo Borgogna). As for the sleepy Saint Joseph, a rustic character indifferent to the scene, he is the reflection of his alter ego in the Adoration of the Child with Saint Nicholas de Tolentino de Girolamo around 1510, so we can situate the execution of our painting after that of the Assumption in the first decade of the 16th century. 1. The date 1500 on the Budapest panel is incorrect. The work is attributed to the beginnings of Girolamo parg. Romano in Casalesi del Cinquecento, Turin 1970, p. 20, n.2, while L. Mallé, Spanzotti, Defendente, Giovenone, Turin 1971, fig. 165, retains it from the artist's studio. 2. Mallé, op. cit. figs. 150, 170 3 Turin, former Giacosa collection, cf. Mallé op.cit. fig.148, and sale Paris, Drouot, Piasa, 26 March 2010, lot 45, repr.
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