Marco Marchetti, Christ at the home of the Pharisee

Marco Marchetti,
Christ at the home of the Pharisee

Christ at the home of the Pharisee
1528(?)-1588, wood, 230×166 cm + frame 5 cm, Inv. n. 158

This scene depicts the dinner at the home of Simon the Pharisee in the moment that Mary Magdalene washes Jesus’s feet.
The work comes from the demolished church of St. Matthew in Faenza, the presence of which was documented in 1573 by Bishop Marchesini, an apostolic visitor.

It is evident that the artist had many difficulties in creating large altar pieces: Corbara wrote of a Marchetti who was unable to reach an organic and rational composition, in which the expressions all resembled each other and the figures were arranged with no criterion.
The predominant presence of yellow and pink demonstrates that Marchetti makes reference to Federico Barocci, without however obtaining excellent results, creating a series of pale tones that are monotonous and mawkish.
This altar piece is populated by numerous figures, some around Christ, others in the background; the setting consists of a part of a room with columns with an ample curtain on the right.

Marchetti was trained in Rome. In Florence he worked in Palazzo Vecchio, under the direction of Vasari, who praised Marchetti for his talent in ornate painting. One example of this mastery is the fresco on the main vault of the Molinella in Faenza.

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