Federazione Italiana Mercanti d'Arte

"Heliodorus expelled from the Temple"

Orazio Talami (Bologna 1624-1708)

"Heliodorus expelled from the Temple"
Orazio Talami (Bologna 1624-1708)
Oil painting on canvas
Period 1680 c.
Baroque lacquered and gilded frame
Canvas size 100 x 67
Frame size 80 x 114
Excellent condition

This splendid painting illustrates the biblical episode of Heliodorus expelled from the Temple. (2 Maccabees, 3, 21-28) He was sent by the king of Syria Seleucus to take possession of the treasure kept in the temple of Jerusalem. At the prayer of the high priest Onia, God sends a knight with two Angels who strike and drive out Heliodorus.
The scene is full of agitated movement with all the protagonists committed to hitting or defending themselves with the utmost vigor. Warm colors with bright tones are highlighted by a play of strong contrasts between lights and shadows. The marked chiaroscuro and theatrical poses of the characters create an incredible three-dimensional effect. The liveliness of the composition is truly remarkable. The canvas is probably the prototype of the famous work placed in the Cathedral of Reggio Emilia that Talami painted in 1686 and which depicts the same scene arranged in reverse. The works of this author in circulation are quite rare and rarely appear on the market. The painting is in excellent condition with an important gilded and lacquered frame sculpted in a spiral in high relief.
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