• St Augustine
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St Augustine

17th c.
Object type
151,0 x 107,0 cm
Acquisition date
The Palace on the Isle - Picture Gallery, ground floor
Marks and inscriptions
red number 1263 of the Stanisław August collection, bottom left
Place of Origin
Bologna (Italy)
National Museum in Warsaw
Acquisition name
deposit; inv. no. M.Ob.1102
Museum number
Dep 930
More parametrów obiektu

St. Augustine (354–430), Bishop of Hippo, one of the Church Doctors, philosopher, author of theological treatises, shown in Bishop’s robes in the company of a putto holding a crosier.

The painting, acquired in March 1781—in March 1781 it was recorded in a list of paintings offered for sale to Stanisław August, as being a work by Carlo Cignani, having all the characteristics of the hand of this ‘Great Master’, for a high price of 250 ducats. …

… Beatrice Buscaroli Fabbri (B. Buscaroli Fabbri, Carlo Cignani: affreschi, dipinti, disegni, Padua 1991, p. 267) rejected the attribution to Cignani in her catalogue raisonné of the artist. … According to Buscaroli Fabbri, St Augustine bears none of Cignani’s stylistic features, but has some traits of the style of Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole (1654–1719), active in Bologna at the same time. …

Works by Cignani—a painter considered by his contemporaries to have been the greatest master of the Bolognese school in the last decades of the 17th century, and whose position was on a par with that of Carlo Maratta in Rome, were distinguished by the perfection and precision of the drawing, a particular idealization of the figures depicted, characteristic ‘pre-rococo’ virtuosity in the modelling of the decorative fall of the folds of the fabric—features that are not present in the painting under discussion, although it is otherwise of good quality … . The sketchier brushwork, the rendering of the folds of the garments and the angel’s physiognomy (characteristic shape of the eyes, forehead and nose) are closer to the paintings of dal Sole than of Cignani. … [D. Juszczak, H. Małachowicz, The Stanisław August Collection of Paintings at the Royal Łazienki. Catalogue, Royal Łazienki Museum, Warsaw 2016, no. 97, pp. 357–359.]

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