Sunday, February 28, 2010

The dream of St. Joseph a masterpiece with a monumental error

There’s a big secret hiding behind this famous painting. For hundreds of years this masterpiece has been attributed to the famous Italian artist, Caravaggio, but in reality “The Dream of St. Joseph”  was painted by none other than Giovanni Baglione- a misconception that is now exposed in an exhibition at the Alfredo Pallesi art gallery in Rome.

Antonio Pallesi -Alfredo Pallesi Art Gallery
“Giovanni Baglione was one of the most recognized painters of Rome, until Caravaggio got to Rome. Caravaggio broke all the rules. But one year before Baglione finished this work, he took a ‘caravaggiotesque’ approach. In fact Caravaggio denounced him because he said Baglione was a copy cat.”

Now thanks to an investigation that looked at the records of Giovanni Baglione trial statements the artists true identity is known.

Antonio Pallesi - Alfredo Pallesi Art Gallery
“Those statements explicitly say that Giovanni Baglione finished the painting in 1559, it was meant to hang in the private chapel of the Santacroce family, who by the way never paid him. The documents also include the exact date, the characters and the measurements of the piece.”

But this masterpiece is also a historical bridge. The painting shows the passage of time though the cool artificial colors that are linked to mannerism to the darker shades linked to Caravaggio and one of the most significant aspects of Baroque.

Antonio Pallesi - Alfredo Pallesi Art Gallery
“This painting has significant mannerism influence because Baglione started to embrace the phenomenon that was occurring in painting at that time.”

The painting, which is more than 3 meters tall, reflects on the angels visit to Saint Joseph. The simple instrument of the carpenter is complemented by the complex sensation of movement that Baglione accomplishes with the figure of the angel.

“The dream of St. Joseph”,  a unique painting with a unique history, that now hangs with the name of it’s true author.

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