Federazione Italiana Mercanti d'Arte

Sibyl

Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (Viterbo 1610-1662)attr.

"Sibyl"
Giovanni Francesco Romanelli attr.
(Viterbo 1610-1662)
oil painting on canvas
Period mid-17th century
Canvas size 48 x 37 frame 60 x 50

This beautiful painting of the full seventeenth century depicts a splendid Sibyl in a decidedly detached way from the usual patterns.
The protagonist is particularly attractive and is portrayed full of femininity with very bare breasts, hair on the shoulders and a magnificent hairstyle.
The movement of the clothes in the most typical ways of the best Roman Baroque painting is truly remarkable. In fact, the painting shows all the peculiarities of the sumptuous but refined Baroque.
The work belongs to the repertoire of Giovanni Francesco Romanelli "il Viterbese" who painted this Sibyl in different variations, the most famous on display at the Capodimonte museum.
Ours, small in size, we believe is very interesting as well as of great charm.

Hints of Biography:
Romanelli was born in Viterbo to Laura de Angelis and Bartolomeo Romanelli. At the age of 14, he went to Rome to study to become an artist. In a few years he was introduced to the workers of Cardinal Francesco Barberini. He was a pupil of Domenichino and in the studio of Pietro da Cortona, who was at that time the most important exponent of Baroque painting in Rome. With the latter, however, the relationship deteriorated and Romanelli left his studio. He continued to be very active in Rome under the protection of the Barberini. In 1639 he was elected Prince of the prestigious Academy of San Luca.

With the death of Pope Urban VIII and the rise of Pope Innocent X to the papal throne, the Barberini family fell into disgrace and Romanelli lost an influential protection.

At this time he was called to work in Paris by Cardinal Mazarin, for whom he painted a cycle of frescoes on the theme of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Here he also painted the apartments of Anne of Austria, Louis XIV's mother, in the Louvre Palace. In France he also worked at the Castle of Le Raincy and the Episcopal Palace of Carpentras. For the prestige of his works in France he was made a Knight of the Order of Saint Michael by King Louis XIV.

In the last years of his life he returned to Viterbo where he executed his last works.
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