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Ferdinando Porta Oil On Canvas Mid '700
ARARPI0086960

Ferdinando Porta Oil On Canvas Mid '700

Rest During The Flight Into Egypt

ARARPI0086960

Ferdinando Porta Oil On Canvas Mid '700

Rest During The Flight Into Egypt

Oil on canvas. Attribution to Ferdinando Porta on the back. The scene depicts the moment of rest of the Sacred Family, during the flight into Egypt: on the left, sitting on the ground, are Mary reading and Jesus, already a boy, but still childishly abandoned on His Mother's lap; on the right, Joseph is standing, even if he's leaning on a rock on the back, looking at his family. On the top, over the cloud that envelops the tree full of fruits that has given rest to the family, there is a host of angels, presented not only as children, but also as boys, almost as to accompany the growth of Jesus. The composition of the scene, as well as the kind of representation of the figures and the tones, are fitting to the pictorial modes of Ferdinando Porta. The Milanese painter, son of Andrea Porta, an artist with an imprint from Emilia, established himself on the Lombardy artistic scene after studying in Bologna, where he was one of the students of Carlo Cignani. The part of his production known today unfortunately only starts from the fourth decade of the '700, because his previous documented work, for Milanese churches and for Palazzo Casati Dugnani, has been lost. His later work is known, some important commissions helped him to definitely establish himself, between 1741 and 1753 he worked in the Basilica di S.Ambrogio in Milan, in the Duomo di Monza and in the Cathedral of Vigevano, realizing pieces that contributed to define the character and the range of the pictorial modes of Porta: solidly linked to Lombard figurative tradition, after the initial influence from Emilia, he introduced new manners in his painting that are influenced by Venetian painting, in particular by Tiepolo, with whom he had worked, for the vigorous plasticity of the figures and the naturalistic characterization of the allegoric or sacred themes. Observing one of his latest pieces, considered one of his best, the altarpiece of the Baptism of Christ, realized by Porta between 1753 and 1754 for the Duomo of Vigevano, compositional and chromatic manners close to the ones of our Rest during the flight into Egypt can be found there: the figures are well defined plastically, but they are shaded on the outlines with chromatic contrasts in which brown and cold tones prevail, like in the group composed of Mary and Jesus, while the isolated brightness of Joseph's vest stands out; on the top, the composition of angels, complex in the intertwining of the bodies, not defined but almost fading, like the landscape, bare and devoid of connotative elements. These are all elements that well highlights the ties of Porta with the 17th century Lombard tradition, that earned him a wide consensus and fortune with both the private and public commissioners in Milan and nearby cities, in a moment when neoclassicism was becoming more popular. The painting, in its original canvas but retensioned, shows some signs of restoration. It is presented in a frame in style.

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