Giovanni Battista Bertucci sr., Adoration of the Magi

Giovanni Battista Bertucci sr.,
Adoration of the Magi

Giovanni Battista Bertucci sr., Adoration of the Magi
post-1510, wood, 174×139 cm, Inv. n. 119

The work – defined «a rare and important painting by Antonio Corbara» – is of unknown origins. As early as the first years of the twentieth century the artist was identified as Giovanni Battista Bertucci the Elder, but while in 1931 Buscaroli claimed the work was from his younger period, so between the end of the fifteenth century and the early years of the sixteenth century, Corbara places it during the last period of Bertucci’s career, or after 1510.

The altar piece demonstrates that even Giovanni Battista Bertucci, wrote Antonio Corbara in 1939 in a study dedicated to Mannerism in Faenza, felt the need to adapt to the times that were changing quickly, flying even.

«That fragment of painting that is in the undated altar piece of the Epiphany – wrote Corbara – at the top left and that has often attracted the attention of the critics, has an unusual vivacity and vitality, it is a juicy, flavourful painting, from which the intention to rejuvenate oneself transpires, going a bit crazy as did Aspertini with his extravagant methods».

Noting the «high and shrill colourism of the vibrant reds with the light blues, alternated with a few notes of yellow and white», Corbara also connected the work with Ferrara, and more precisely with Dosso Dossi, the elder the two Dossi brothers, during the high point of his career.

 

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