Francesco Hayez - The Virgin of Sorrows with the angels and the symbols of the Passion
Francesco Hayez - Self-portrait of Clara Maffei
Francesco Hayez - The Virgin of Sorrows with the angels and the symbols of the Passion
Francesco Hayez - Self-portrait of Clara Maffei

Other works on display


At the suggestion of the Brescian architect Rodolfo Vantini, towards the end of 1839 the Countess Carolina Santi Bevilacqua commissioned the painting of the Addolorata from the Venetian artist Francesco Hayez for the chapel of the family castle in Legnago. Subsequently, it became part of the Andrea Maffei collection, before being transferred to Riva del Garda, where it is documented in 1875, and then passed on to the de Lutti family.

Hayez, one of the major protagonists of the Milanese romantic season, particularly appreciated history painting and the portrait genre, without however neglecting the sacred subjects, which were occasionally commissioned from him. Trained within the great tradition of Venetian chromatism of Titian ancestry, in Addolorata Hayez he opted for a palette of particularly cold tones, restoring an atmosphere of intense spirituality, accentuated by the unusual choice of placing the light source behind the Virgin.

The construction of the work follows an unprecedented diagonal pattern, the vectors of which are identified by the pyramidal figure of Mary, by a wing and by the daring glimpse of the cross supported with difficulty by the angels; in the center, the face of the Virgin, the fulcrum of the work, lost in pain, stands in contrast with the upward thrust of the angels who support her body. Below right, the elegant winged spirit gathered in prayer winks at Canova's sculptural production, much appreciated by Hayez.

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