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Michelangelo Merisi, detto Caravaggio - St. John Baptist
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Giambattista Piazzetta - Judith and Holofernes
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Orazio Gentileschi - Madonna with child
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Peter Paul Rubens - San Sebastiano cured by the angels
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Antoon van Dyck - Madonna of the straw
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Guido Reni - Salome with the head of the Baptist
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Christian Berentz - The elegant snack
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Corsini throne
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Jusepe de Ribera - Venus reaches dying Adonis
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Luca Giordano - Dispute of Jesus among the doctors
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Salvator Rosa - The torture of Prometheus
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Jusepe de Ribera - Denial of Peter
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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo - Madonna of the milk
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Beato Angelico - Triptych with Ascension, Last Judgment, Pentecost
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Rosalba Carriera - Allegory of the four elements - Air, Water, Earth, Fire
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Hans Hoffmann - The hare
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Giovanni da Milano - Polyptych with Madonna and Child with Saints
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Mattia Preti - The tribute of the currency
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Jacopo Bassano - Adoration of the shepherds
Michelangelo Merisi, detto Caravaggio - St. John Baptist
Giambattista Piazzetta - Judith and Holofernes
Orazio Gentileschi - Madonna with child
Peter Paul Rubens - San Sebastiano cured by the angels
Antoon van Dyck - Madonna of the straw
Guido Reni - Salome with the head of the Baptist
Christian Berentz - The elegant snack
Corsini throne
Jusepe de Ribera - Venus reaches dying Adonis
Luca Giordano - Dispute of Jesus among the doctors
Salvator Rosa - The torture of Prometheus
Jusepe de Ribera - Denial of Peter
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo - Madonna of the milk
Beato Angelico - Triptych with Ascension, Last Judgment, Pentecost
Rosalba Carriera - Allegory of the four elements - Air, Water, Earth, Fire
Hans Hoffmann - The hare
Giovanni da Milano - Polyptych with Madonna and Child with Saints
Mattia Preti - The tribute of the currency
Jacopo Bassano - Adoration of the shepherds

Other works on display

Description

The series of the four elements is made in pastel on paper, a technique that was widely used in the eighteenth century. Rosalba Carriera, a Venetian painter, became one of the most requested portraitists by nobles and sovereigns of Europe, very skilled in achieving results of softness, brightness, immediacy and psychological introspection with pastel. The allegorical series formed by four personifications - the continents, the seasons, the elements - are a particularly widespread typology in this period. La Carriera completed this work between 1741 and 1743 for Giovan Francesco Stoppani, apostolic nuncio to the Senate of Venice. The allegories have a portrait cut, are caught in the foreground and their attributes end up in the margin (lower right, except in the Air), integrated with different colors or accessories that clarify their role. Air, in addition to wearing an intense blue cloak, of which a flap is hinted at, holds a little bird with a thread; the Water observes in an absorbed attitude the fish hanging from a sort of fishing line; the Earth shows a bunch of grapes (from this point of view it is very similar to an Autumn Allegory) and wears a garland of flowers; Fire, with its tawny hair, peach-pink dress and small brazier in the hand, is the pastel with the warmest colors. The pastel technique is very practical in some ways, complex in others. Compared to oil on canvas, it is cheaper, and uses more easily transportable materials. It is perfect for the execution of portraits and meets the needs of a prestigious client who takes care of self-representation. On the other hand, it requires mastery of execution, does not admit regrets, and is extremely fragile, in fact a slight contact with the surface is enough to alter the pigments, which require specific fixatives.

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