"Saint Jerome Francesco Fracanzano"Painting, oil on canvas, size 92 x 77 without frame and 107 x 82 cm with frame, representing a saint Jerome in ancient version philosopher and ascetic, typical of the greatest Neapolitan baroque tradition of the mid-seventeenth century; the painting is undoubtedly a work of great quality and artistic sensitivity of the painter Francesco Fracanzano (Monopoli 1612 - Naples 1656).
Here are represented one of the most beloved subjects of the artist or the representation of half-figures of saints or philosophers sought with brutal realism; we can also see here the predilection of our artist for a pictorial body more polished, the shape softer and more vibrant.
The compositional scheme of this work faithfully reflects the precepts of time with an almost frontal approach to the figure and with the light conceived in the narrowest caravaghic tradition, with a source of light coming from the left, which brings out both the head and the head. noble and hands on a dark background, shaded to the right in a lighter halo; the artist's inclination and desire to capture in the portrait the character of the character and the attention paid to an emotional and sentimental rendering of the image through a painting, which radiates a deep humanity and great moral force without ever arriving at a decorative formalism, endowed with both a great naturalism and a realism, a strong religious spirit and an intimate and painful participation for a humanity marked by age and pain.
By analyzing certain details of the work such as the epidermic beauty of the pictorial material on the waved forehead and the refined definition of the complexion and beautifully painted hands compared to the modest clothes, we can even approach the work around the 40s of the 17th century. when Francesco Fracanzano embarks on the path of a more attentive realism typical of his grand master and mentor Jusepe de Ribera, despite the new look that is already announced, he turns away from his youth where the natural rigor gives way to a softer and more refined pictorial palette reveals the most precise behavior of the different veils of this painting.
can add that the author of this work to Francesco Fracanzano does not reside only in the drawing of the work, in its colors and its representation, but is confirmed in many works of the artist himself where his imprint however, is known. Here we find the same artistic sense in other works of the same painter as the return of the prodigal son Lot and his daughters who are in the cathedral of Monopoli, the Bacchanal art museum of Fogg in Cambridge, the Silene intoxicated present at Prado Museum in Madrid and the Ecce Homo now in the Morton B. Harris collection in New York.
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