Auction 3 Antiques and Fine Art: Colonial & Sacred Art
Apr 29, 2021
Carrer d'Aribau, 123, 08036 Barcelona., Spain

The auction has ended

LOT 57:

Giovanni Battista Castello "Il Genovese" (Genoa, 1549-1639) The stoning of Saint Stephen. Tempera and gold on ...

Start price:
$ 25,000
Auction house commission: 19.5%
VAT: 17% On commission only

Giovanni Battista Castello "Il Genovese" (Genoa, 1549-1639) The stoning of Saint Stephen. Tempera and gold on parchment. Dated 1580. According to the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Stephen was sentenced to stoning after enraging the Jewish priests of the Sanhedrin. The scene represents the moment of the stoning, the saint, dressed in deacon clothes, entrusts himself to God, while the expressive executioners prepare to start stoning him. At the top witnessing everything are God the Father and Christ. The work presented here, of an exquisite color, is characterized by its precious and meticulous descriptivism. On the back handwritten document of the director of the Gallery of the Academy of Venice, Giulio Castalamessa dated 1897. Bibliography. Listed in the book by Elena de Laurentiis: "Il pio Genovese. Giovanni Battista Castello", Alumina, pagine miniate, n.37, April-June 2012, pp. 26-35. In this publication, Professor Elena de Laurentiis affirms that this work that we present is one of the first known works of the Genoese artist. The model derives from a free interpretation of the painting by Giulio Romano, of the same motif, which is preserved in the Church of Santo Stefano in Genoa. It can be compared with the "Adoration of the Magi", signed and dated 1588, which is in the Wildenstein Collection in Paris. 24 x 18 cm. Giovanni Battista Castello "Il Genovese" was trained in the studio of Luca Cambiaso (1527-1585), who was considered the most prolific artist in Genoa at the time. He separated himself from the rest of the apprentices and would soon stand out as an independent artist, emerging as one of the main illustrators in the city. He specialized in miniatures and tempera illuminations on parchment, a technique in which he was able to demonstrate his mastery and virtuosity, as can be seen in the beautiful work presented here. Such was his fame as a miniaturist that he soon reached the ears of King Felipe II, who in 1584 hired him as the illuminator of the Royal Books of Coro del Escorial. The most prolific moment in Giovanni Battista Castelli's career occurred between the last decades of the 16th century and the first decades of the 17th century. According to Raffaello Soprani in his "Vite de Pittori, Scultori et Architetti Genovesi" (1674), he praises his "colorite with meravigliosa esquisitezza", describes him as one of the best miniaturists of the time, comparable to Giulio Clovio (1498-1578) who according to Giorgio Vasari, his biographer, he defined it as the “piccolo e nuovo Michelagnolo”.