Thursday, June 4, 2015

NUVOLONE CARLO FRANCESCO (1608 - 1661) Mounted Christ Falls Under the Cross

Mounted Christ Falls Under the Cross.
Oil on canvas 
118,00 x 122,00 cm

The work is signed by Carlo Francesco Nuvolone, known as il Panfilo, the greatest exponent of the famous Milanese family of painters who laid down the law in Lombardy, artistically speaking, in the seventeenth century. Their influence extended to the area of Brescia, from which the canvas seems to come. Well versed in the religious and historical scene, Carlo Francesco differs from his family members because of the liveliness of his inventions (as here, where he creates a direct and dramatic relationship between the patiens face of Christ and the swooning expression of the Mother), but also especially because of the softness of his brushwork and sfumato, which distinguishes him from his brother Giuseppe, who was often his collaborator. The drapery and the specific qualities of the red and blue often appear as a trademark in works such as those of Brera and the Museo di S. Ambrogio, Milan and San Giovanni, Brescia. Here, against the backdrop of a landscape alluding to the Calvary, the scene is dramatically compressed between the exhausted, kneeling body of Christ and the pious women who come to the aid Mary. The two groups are distinguished by the diagonal of the wood of the Cross (both suggestions stem from the Milanese teachings of Morazzone). While the task of the four or five thugs facing left is typical of Panfilo, who aims to increase the dramatic tension with the contrasts of light and shadow on the heads, this is fully within in the atmosphere of the school of Milanese "pestanti" who were perfectly at ease with holy scenes of touching piety. The beautiful hand of Christ, with its almost delicate gesture, emphasises the nobility of the figure in contrasts against the others. More