Saint Peter and Saint Paul. History of their lifes
Jacopo Zanguidi, detto il Bertoja
Oil on board
The images, recomposed to diptych in recent times, had to decorate a tabernacle or a cabinet for sacred use. The elegant rendering of the figures, executed in monochrome, is accentuated thanks to the veining of the rosewood on which they are made and the rapid bill, made through very thin brushstrokes, determines an almost phosphorescent effect. Referred to Polidoro by Caravaggio when they were in the collection of the Marquis of Westminster in the Grosvenor House in London, they were correctly returned to Bertoia with ample argument by D. De Grazia (1991) who referred them to the years in which the artist takes part to the decoration of the Oratory of the Gonfalone in Rome (1569), frescoing the Entrance of Christ into Jerusalem. The elegant roundness of the gestures gives the characters, despite their small size, an extraordinary monumentality that refers to the figure of the Christ in the Banner. If Bertoia, the protagonist of the Farnese culture, stands out for the neo-Mannerist turn brought to his painting by a well-understood revival of Parmigianineschi models, it is also evident that on these dates he must have started those agreements with the Flemish painters, and in particularly with Bartolomeo Spranger, present in Parma and then in Rome from 1566 to 1575, who had so much a part in his subsequent imagination.