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This artwork, Saint Giustina and the Guardian Angel commending the soul of an infant to the Madonna and Child by Gaetano Gandolfi, is currently for sale at Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel.
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Gaetano Gandolfi, Saint Giustina and the Guardian Angel commending the soul of an infant to the Madonna and Child
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TITLE:  Saint Giustina and the Guardian Angel commending the soul of an infant to the Madonna and Child
ARTIST:  Gaetano Gandolfi (Italian, 1734–1802)
CATEGORY:  Paintings
MATERIALS:  Oil on canvas, a bozzetto
SIZE:  h: 52 x w: 32 cm / h: 20.5 x w: 12.6 in
STYLE:  Old Masters
PRICE*:  Contact Gallery for Price
GALLERY:  Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel  +49-(0)89-983465  Send Email
DESCRIPTION:  This bozzetto is a preparatory sketch for the altarpiece in the Oratory of the Blessed Virgin of the Nativity and Saint Giustina at Villa Tanari, Bazzano (Biagi Maino, op. cit., p. 400, cat. no. 206, fig. 234). The finished altarpiece follows the initial design of the present sketch in every detail. There is also a preparatory drawing (Bagni, op. cit, p. 288, fig. 272), in which the figures in the upper half of the composition vary from those in the bozzetto and altarpiece. The Villa Tanari was built in 1790 to the designs of the architect Angelo Venturoli, one of the leading exponents of a revived Palladian style at the end of the 18th century. The completion of the villa would point to a dating in the 1790s for the present work, and on grounds of style Biagi Maino suggests a comparison with other works from early in the same decade – see, for example, the altarpiece of The Holy Family with Saint Egidius of 1792 in the Church of Saint Egidius in Bologna, or The Finding of the True Cross from the following year, now in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna (op. cit., pp. 401 and 403, cat. nos. 211 and 222, reproduced figs. 239 and 249 respectively).

Gaetano Gandolfi was the most prolific member of a family of artists that included his brother, Ubaldo, and son, Mauro. He studied under Felice Torelli and Ercole Lelli at the Accademia Clementina in Bologna. His earliest extant painting, Calling of Saint James the Greater (parish church, Piumazzo, nr. Modena), dates from 1753 and is stylistically close to the early work of Ubaldo. In 1760 he was able to study in Venice for a year thanks to the sponsorship of the Bolognese merchant Antonio Buratti, and the influence of Venetian art can be detected in his art from this point until the 1780s. In the 1770s Gaetano won a series of significant commissions, both religious and secular, the latter including a number of major decorative projects such as Venus and Bacchus and Ariadne (1772; Palazzo Gini, Bologna). The most important religious work of his career also dates to this decade, the cupola fresco of Assumption of the Virgin (1776-9) in S. Maria della Vita in Bologna. In the 1780s, Gaetano’s style began to reflect the prevailing influence of neo-classicism, see, for example, Continence of Scipio (1784; Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna). In 1787, at the invitation of Richard Dalton, librarian to George III of England, he travelled to London via Paris, a trip which exposed him to artistic trends outside his native Italy. His art continued to become increasingly neo-classical, evident in a group of four works from 1797-9 that includes Mourning of the Body of Hector (private collection, London). Gaetano died in 1802.

PROVENANCE:  Charles de Burlet, Berlin, by 1922; Dr. Otto Burchard, Berlin, by 1927;
His sale, Berlin, Cassirer and Helbing, 22 May 1928
Fritz Haussmann, Berlin and Switzerland by 1935
Private collection, Zurich, from whom acquired by the previous owners circa 1950.
ONLINE CATALOGUE(S):  Inventory Catalogue
LITERATURE:  U. Ojetti, L. Dami and N. Tarchiani, in exhibition catalogue, Mostra della Pittura italiana del Seicento e del Settecento a Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, 1922, p. 93, no. 432
L. Bianchi, I Gandolfi, Rome 1936, p. 164, cat. no. 139
P. Bagni, I Gandolfi, Padua 1992, p. 287, cat. no. 271, ill
D. Biagi Maino, Gaetano Gandolfi, Turin 1995, pp. 399 - 400, cat. no. 205, fig. 233
EXHIBITION HISTORY:  Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Mostra della Pittura italiana del Seicento e del Settecento a Palazzo Pitti, 1922, no. 432
Wertheim Gallery, Berlin, Italienische Malerei des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts, 1927, no. 64
Wiesbaden, Italienische Malerei des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts, 1935, no. 85
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