"Portrait Of A Girl As An Allegory Of Painting, Seventeenth-century Neapolitan School"Portrait of a girl with a palette and brushes, as an Allegory of Painting
Neapolitan school of the first half of the seventeenth century, circle of Bernardo Cavallino (Naples 1616 - 1656)
Oil on octagonal canvas, 75x 60 cm
Complete photographic details: https://www.antichitacastelbarco.it/it/prodotto/portrait-of-fanciulla-as-allegoria-della-pittura
This splendid oil painting on canvas, distinguished by a warm and lively color scheme, shows us a fascinating and intense female figure, a young woman emerging from the background shadow, identifiable as the allegory of the Art of Painting.
His gaze is lost, turned upwards, and the physiognomic features are enhanced by the light that softly highlights the delicate complexion, the soft pink of the cheeks, the red and fleshy lips, half-open to express a thought that we can only imagine, giving them, together with the yellow and blue drapery that surrounds the body, an air of suspended and seductive charm.
The young woman holds in her hands a bunch of brushes, a pencil blade and a palette, all symbols that allude to her role of personification of the noble pictorial art.
The painting, clearly attributable to the Neapolitan school of the first half of the seventeenth century, illustrates a pictorial sentiment that approaches the models of Andrea Vaccaro, and more specifically the works of Bernardo Cavallino (Naples 1616 - 1656), who was also a pupil of Vaccaro. Attention to the warm light, which invests the figure, and the accentuated sensuality of female beauty are elements that particularly characterize her youthful activity.
The intense gaze, but distinguished by a languid sweetness, that echoes the minds of the figures of the Virgins or Maddalene portrayed by Cavallino (http://catalogo.fondazionezeri.unibo.it/scheda/opera/55222/Cavallino%20Bernardo%2C% 20I Immacolata% 20Co ...), transmits to the observer an unusual emotion, which merges between the secular aspect of the allegory and the sacral.
Lively in the colors, the same ones that we see on the palette, the clothes of the figure reveal the debt of our artist towards Massimo Stanzione (also master of the Cavallino), but also (and precisely in the elegant position of the hands) of the models left in Naples by Simon Vouet and Artemisia Gentileschi: however relived with the discreet grace and the tender sensuality that were the distinctive feature of the Cavallino style and that made his painting so special and inimitable.