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closed Cornelis de Wael, Alessandro Magnasco, Maestro di Resina

The show

The exhibition will present two important acquisitions: it is the painting by Cornelis de Wael (Anversa, 1592 - Rome, 1667) depicting Dare da mangiare to the hungry and of the Martyrdom of sant Erasmo by Alessandro Magnasco (Genoa, 1667-1749), performed in collaboration with the "ruinista" Clemente Spera.

The two new paintings allow us to document both the important activity in the Anversan master's port center and the extraordinary figurative experience of Magnasco within the museum's itinerary. These increments therefore give voice to artists who, not represented in the historical picture gallery of the Pellicceria residence donated in 1958 by the marquises Franco and Paolo Spinola, have played a leading role in the Genoese figurative landscape of the XVII and XVIII centuries century.

In particular, about the work of the Flemish artist, thanks to the results of recent research, it is possible to count on some firm points about the origin: the painting was perhaps purchased by Sir Henry Bankes (1711-1774) during a trip to the Flanders completed in 1754. During the nineteenth century it came to the collections of Belton House (Lincolshire), from where it was removed in 1984.

Critics have proposed to recognize in this representation part of a series of examples of Capuchin virtue made by Cornelis during his activity in Genoa, probably during the 1840s.

The Franciscan religious are protagonists together with the poor and travelers of this charitable representation, a scene perhaps set near the entrance of the Capuchin convent of Voltaggio (Alessandria) and characterized by an energetic physiognomic rendering and by a never banal gesture.

The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus, a perfect synthesis between Lombard realism and the pictorial elegance typical of Genoese figurative culture, offers instead the opportunity to discover the very personal style of Magnasco, both visionary and ingenious.

The subject, devoid of devotional connotations, was described by the artist with absolute accuracy, making use of a calibrated chromatic palette illuminated by dynamic touches of white, blue and yellow. The saint, lying on a table and deprived of his clothes, piled on the ground along with his pastoral, is surrounded by torturers, intent on rolling his intestines. Erasmus, careless of the priest engaged in showing him a pagan idol to worship, stretches his arms to the sky, where two angels have appeared who bear the palm of martyrdom.

These works will be accompanied by the painting with the Washing of the Feet attributed to the Master of Resin, the first acquisition destined for the new National Gallery of Liguria in 1958. The painter, author of the altarpiece with the Fugue in Egypt preserved in the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione of Ercolano (Resina until 1969), uses a pictorial language of Caravaggesque origin, evident in the setting of the scene, in the accurate gestural rendering, in the modulated and effective chiaroscuro, in the physiognomic rendering of the faces of the apostles. The conservative intervention just completed will allow us to rediscover its beauty, being able to fully appreciate the unquestionable executive quality.

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Piazza Pellicceria
16123 Genova


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