Saint Pierre de Verona
Oil on canvas (some wear in the background).
Old frame and canvas lining.
H_104 cm L_78 cm
- sale Christie's Rome, 11 June 1973, lot 124 (reproduced in black and white)
- private collection, Modena
- by descent
Archive Fototeca Federico Zeri, n° fiche 57175 (reproduced in black and white).
Bolaffi Catalogue n. 1, 1974, p. 135.
- Agostino Gallo, Elogio storico di Pietro Novelli da Morreale in Sicilia, pittore, architetto, ed incisore, Palermo 1880.
- Guido Di Stefano, Pietro Novelli Il Monrealese, Palermo 1989.
- Pietro Novelli e il suo ambiente, exhibition catalogue, Palermo, June - October 1990.
Old carved wooden frame (restorations); old frames and canvases.
Called Monrealese by his birth in the beautiful Norman city of Monreale, not far from Palermo, Pietro Novelli is one of the most famous Caravaggio painters of the first half of the 17th century and probably the greatest Sicilian painter of that period. The presence of some striking works by Caravaggio in Sicily, and the equally stimulating work of Anton Van Dyck in Palermo (1624 - 1625) gave him the basis of his initial style. His artistic maturity coincided with his travels to Rome and Naples (around 1629 and 1630), where he also came close to the realism of Jusepe de Ribera.
This very beautiful rediscovery, representing Saint Peter the Martyr of Verona, formerly attributed to Guerchin, should take place precisely following Novelli's encounter with the work of the Spanish master. Novelli seems to be inspired by his example for this striking figure with very distinctive physiognomic features and a sharp look. It should be located around 1630-1640, contemporary with the great Sicilian altarpieces that were being built. The realistic and "riberesque" features of the saint are nevertheless declined in an original way, since they are enriched by the intensity of a stron