From Dec 5th to Dec 14th, at Castello Estense in Ferrara, will be opened to the public the exposition of the painting Cain and Abel, recently attributed to the early period of Giovan Francesco Barbieri, known as Guercino.
The painting is inserted in the exposition that includes the exhibition L’arte per l’arte with the works by Boldini and F. de Pisis.
The dramatic force of the half-naked body of Abel, lying diagonally to the ground, presented in the foreground through a bold solution perspective, with a point of view very low, is in contrast to the figure of Cain, who flees into the darkness of the seabed.
Largo Castello, 1
The work, painted around the second decade of the 1600s, shows obvious stylistic features of youth by Guercino, with influences due to the great Venetian - Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto - but also by the naturalistic turn started by the Carraccis - Ludovico in particular - since the eighties of the previous century.
In particular, it is easier to see the famous "spot" of Guercino - that breaks the forms to study the effects of light in relation to the atmospheric changes, and the unique way of making the anatomy of the upper and lower limbs and oversized baggy, whose muscles are sculpted by sharp contrasts in light and shadow that accentuate the dramatic effect of the scene.
The extraordinary quality of Cain and Abel, recently confirmed by X-ray performed on the occasion of his discovery, was appreciated even outside the Italian borders, when the work became part, in the nineteenth century, from the collection of Sir Thomas William Holburne and then of Holburne Museum in Bath.
Curiously, at the time the work was incorrectly attributed to the Guido Reni, probably because of the obvious characters Emilia, and of course for the great pictorial qualities of this masterpiece.
The exhibition is sponsored by Zanasi Foundation, under the patronage of the Municipality of Ferrara, that provides the exhibition space, the Regional Directorate for Cultural Heritage and Landscape of Emilia Romagna, in collaboration with the Associazione dei Musei e Monumenti Ferraresi e dall’Associazione Dama Vivente di Castelvetro.