Federazione Italiana Mercanti d'Arte

The Triumph of Christianity

Francesco Solimena (Napoli 1657-1747)

"The Triumph of Christianity"
Probably a project for a large work
Francesco Solimena, known as Abbot Ciccio
(Canale di Serino, 4 October 1657 - Barra, 5 April 1747) attributed

Oil painting on canvas
End of the 17th century
Measurements cm. 100x125
Very good condition
The painting has been restored, cleaned and relined.

This magnificent canvas is an essay on the author's skill, who with fast and precise brushstrokes describes a spectacular allegorical composition of incredible scenographic impact. The upper part of the painting depicts the cornerstones of the Christian religion. In the center above stands God the Father with Christ to his right holding the Cross, supported by a multitude of Angels. To his left the Virgin with the Apostles and Pope Gregory the Great, creator of the Papal States and of the temporal power of the Church. At the center of the scene is the figure of San Benedetto with the crow holding the poisoned bread in its beak.
In the lower part of the painting are depicted the images of the main Gods venerated in antiquity. Jupiter is lying naked next to his wife and sister Juno and his daughter Minerva with Neptune.
The extraordinary effectiveness in the use of colour, the expressive force of the scene, and the very personal theatricality in the movements of the protagonists, are characteristics that distinguish the always splendid compositions full of characters created by the great Neapolitan Master and his famous workshop.
It is very probable that this canvas represents the preparatory sketch for the realization of an important large-scale work.
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