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Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Sacred Heart: Truth, Sincerity and above all Charity

Carlo Dolci 1616 - 1686
Hand holding the Sacred Heart c.1659-65
Black and red chalk on paper
186 millimetres x 121 millimetres
The British Museum, London

Carlo Dolci 1616 - 1686
Allegorie der Aufrichtigkeit / Allegory of Sincerity c.1659-65
Oil on canvas
102 x 87 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Carlo Dolci 1616 - 1686
La Carità / Charity 1659
Oil on octagonal canvas
93 x 76 cm
Palazzo degli Alberti, CariPrato, Prato, Italy
(Inscription: "CHARITAS BENIGNA EST ; S 1659 29 DICEMBRE/LUNEDI'/PRINCIPIAVO/CIOE' IL PRIMP DOPO LE FESTIVITA' (?) DEL S(ANTISSIMO) NATALE/IL SEGUENTE GEN(NAIO) A 21 GIONO DELLA GLORIOSA S(ANTA) AGNESA PROMESSO FRA QUATTRO MESI AL MOLTO (REV(EREN)DO PADRE"

Dolci was a Florentine Baroque painter. In fact he was the preeminent Florentine painter of the seventeenth century

He was a very pious man. Many of his works are religious compositions. He is a most subtle painter of devotional subjects

He had the patronage of such distinguished Florentines as Piero, Cardinal Leopold de'Medici and Cardinal Carlo de' Medici (d. 1666)

He was a perfectionist. His volume of output was not that great because of the time and effort he took in his compositions and finishes.

C.J. Nieuwenhuys, Description de la Collection des Tableaux qui ornent le Palais de S.A.R.M. lr Prince d'Orange, a Bruxelles, Brussels, 1837, pp. 65-6, no. 33, wrote the following of some of his works but the same could be said of most of his works:

'Jamais peintre ne prit plus de soin pour amener ses ouvrages à la perfection, que Carlo Dolci, et quoique l'exécution y soit portée à un fini extraordinaire, sa manière de peindre est toujours largement conçu, les couleurs y sont fondues avec un molleux et une transparence qui forment un des traits caractéristiques du beau talent de cet artist célèbre, dont les ouvrages sont de la plus grand rareté: celui-ci est du nombre de ses meilleures productions.'