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Showing posts from 2024

Alessandro Magnasco, the Dark Genius

The Tame Magpie, 1708 Born on February 4, 1667 in Genoa, Italy, Alessandro Magnasco was a late Baroque painter, aka. il Lissandrino. His style was highly distinctive and idiosyncratic—elongated, muscular forms in brisk brushwork reminiscent of Tintoretto along with some of his contemporaries: Tintoretto, Sebastiano Ricci, Francesco Solimena, and Giovanni Pellegrini. His strong shadows and vibrant colors are reminiscent of a Venetian style, yet suggest an ominous influence of Piranesi in his architectural capriccios. What makes him interesting is his highly idiosyncratic subject matter that was not common during his era, making him a genre painter by definition, or Bamboccianti as some may have described him. Highly individualistic or Romantic, his work is interesting so let's take a closer look. In The Tame Magpie above, an odd collection of people gather round to watch a man attempt to teach a magpie to sing. Some appear to be drunk and destitute, the woman representing c