Baroque and Rococo


Baroque and Rococo Art Map

Alessandro Magnasco



Alessandro Magnasco

(b Genoa, 4 Feb 1667; d Genoa, 12 March 1749).

Painter and draughtsman, son of Stefano Magnasco. He did not study with his father, who died when he was a small child. He went to Milan, probably between 1681 and 1682, and entered the workshop of Filippo Abbiati (1640–1715). His Christ Carrying the Cross (Vitali, priv. col., see Franchini Guelfi, 1987, fig. 238) faithfully repeats the subject and composition of Abbiati’s painting of the same subject (Pavia, Pin. Malaspina). Alessandro Magnasco’s early works were influenced by the harsh and dramatic art of 17th-century Lombardy, with dramatic contrasts of light and dark and livid, earthy tones, far removed from the bright, glowing colours of contemporary Genoese painting. The depiction of extreme emotion in the St Francis in Ecstasy (Genoa, Gal. Pal. Bianco) was inspired by Francesco Cairo’s Dream of Elijah (Milan, S Antonio Abate). However, Magnasco was already expressing himself in a very personal manner, with forms fragmented by swift brushstrokes and darting flashes of light. The Quaker Meeting (1695; ex-Vigaṇ priv. col., see Franchini Guelfi, 1991, no. 18) is one of his first genre scenes. In this early period he specialized as a figurista, creating small human figures to be inserted in the landscapes and architectural settings of other painters. He also began collaborating with the landscape painter Antonio Francesco Peruzzini, with a specialist in perspective effects, Clemente Spera, and other specialist painters; it was not until between 1720 and 1725 that Magnasco himself began to create the landscapes and architectural ruins that provide the setting for his figures.


Entombment of a Soldier

Oil on canvas
Civici Musei, Pavia


Sacrilegious Robbery

Oil on canvas
Quadreria arcivescovile, Milan


The Seashore

c. 1700
Oil on canvas, 158 x 211 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg



Oil on canvas
Civico Museo d'Arte Antica, Castello Sforzesco, Milan


Storm at the Sea

Oil on canvas
Civico Museo d'Arte Antica, Castello Sforzesco, Milan


Landscape with a Man Moving a Barrel beside the Shore


Paisaje montanoso

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