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Giovanni Benedetto
Castiglione

Italia 
1607−1665
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The nickname Il Grechetto is an Italian painter and etcher, inventor of the technique of monotype. Master of the Genoese school. Studied at George. B. Page and George. A. de Ferrari. Worked in Genoa, Venice, Rome, 1648, he held the post of court painter at Mantua. He was influenced by Rubens and other masters of the Flemish school, Poussin studied painting and Rembrandt's etchings.

Castiglione lives in Genoa until 1632. He studied first at the George. B. Page, and then at George. A. De Ferrari, as well as van Dyck, during his second stay in Genoa, 1621-1627. However, his early work is more inclined to the Flemish genre painting, especially to works of a pupil of Snyders, Jan Rosa (Genoa 1614-1638), from whom he borrowed the type compostie with pictures of animals and various household utensils, which he interprets more widely in contrast to S. Scorza and reminding Aartsen and Bacalar. Creativity Bassano also had to impress him. A supporter of the Northern naturalism of Castiglione pays special attention to animal scenes that are included in paintings on biblical subjects, to which he will apply throughout his work. At the same time it creates etchings (head turbans) reveals the influence of Rembrandt, he opened the first of the Italians. Through the Northern artists, he is attached to caravaggism. However, throughout life source update remains to Castiglione Rembrandt, particularly in the area of graphics.

In 1632 Castiglione leaves Genoa and went to Rome, where he was twice (1632-1635 and 1647 - 1651). Probably between Roman years, he visited Naples, where his name is mentioned in 1635, as well as other Italian cities, particularly Genoa (CA. 1645). During the first stay in Rome he maintains contact with the circle of Poussin and Cassiano dal Pozzo; his manner close to the style of P. Tests P. F. Piers, who lived in those years in Rome. At this time he departs from Flemish art and becomes a supporter of postovskogo venetianism, borrowing from the French artist bacchanal and elegiac themes. His repertoire expands, the style becomes more streamlined, the colours are warmer, the composition is simplified, and the pattern is becoming more freedom. The artist develops the technique of oil painting on paper, inherited in all probability from the Flemish and the Venetians; it allows Castiglione to use such colors as vermilion, which in those years no one but he, not used. He invented the technique of monotype, which consists in stamping through a plate on which ink drawing. These two methods allow the artist to make their art more freedom and to create a bright black and white effects. On his return to Genoa, Castiglione writes great compositions on religious themes, which enhances the Baroque elements (the adoration of the shepherds, 1645, Genoa, TS. San Luca; "SV. Bernard who worship the Crucifixion", Sampierdarena, TS. San Martino; "SV. James banishing the Moors from Spain", Genoa, oratory of San Giacomo della Marina). The composition "adoration of the shepherds" shows the confidence the sense of space, and "SV. Bernard" for the first time conveys a sense of ecstasy. The precepts of Rubens for the artist play a crucial role, which is manifested in the picture "SV. Jacob", inspired by Rubens ' hunting scenes.

During his second stay in Rome Castiglione no longer follow the Poussin who embarked on the path of classicism, indulges in excessive intellectualism. The artist is moving closer to Bernini and Cortona, P. da, which has total patrons of the family Raja and Florence. Under the influence of P. da Cortona, he worked in "big style". But his work is dominated by colorful and fantastic, which appear in such works as "Diogenes" (Madrid, Prado) or "Gift ban" (Genoa, a collection of Durazzo). These works, standing in one row with fun finds P. Tests, had a significant influence on the art of S. Rosa.

Later works of Castiglione (1651-1665) held mainly in Mantua, where he was on duty at the court of the Gonzaga. After a trip to Venice in 1648, under the influence of the great Venetians and contemporary Johann Liss, but especially the art of fetti, the predecessor of Castiglione of Mantua in the yard, his strokes become freer; he continues to develop philosophical and picturesque scenes, but the Central place in his work is now the image of a human face. The hidden influence of Bernini and Rubens is evident in such drawings as "Moses receiving the tablets of the law" (great Britain, Windsor castle), Baroque reinforcing the tendency, noticeable in the Genoese period. In 1659-1665 Castiglione works in Mantua, Genoa, Parma and Venice, but all the while continues to be at the service of the Gonzaga. He returns to his early compositions, sometimes depicting in the foreground the game, and in the distance, a small human figure. However, this mannerism gives way to Baroque ("the Expulsion of the merchants from the temple", Paris, Louvre). As Bernini, Strozzi, Castiglione finishes his career on a mystical note, it creates a series of drawings and sketches depicting the Franciscans in a state of ecstasy or the Crucifixion. Thus, at the end of his life he was in charge of the Genoese mystical painting, originating in the work of Strozzi, and represented by D. Piola, G. De Ferrari.

From a historical point of view, Castiglione significant figure for that era, when a special role in the Italian art played by Flemish and Dutch artists. An adherent of the Baroque, it uses all of its capabilities from simple virtuosity it comes to the unusual liveliness of imagination as in the scenes of rural life and in works of "high art". He was a talented draughtsman and engraver; in XVIII century it experienced the influence of Ricci and Tiepolo, as well as Boucher and Fragonard (the adoration of the shepherds, Paris, Louvre). A direct disciple of Castiglione, and his successor at the mantuan court was his son Francesco Castiglione (died in 1716). Animal genre of the artist was continued in the works of Anton Mario Vassallo (worked in 1640-1660). His majestic manner affected the development of D. Piola and Gregorio De Ferrari.

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