Friday, May 23, 2014

13th March 1622

Andrea Sacchi 1599 - 1661
Inside the Church of S Maria in Vallicella durung the celebrations of 13th March 1622
Oil on canvas
98 x 74 cm
Pinacoteca, Musei Vaticani, Citta del Vaticano

Sacchi was one of the leading classical painters in Rome in the second quarter of the seventeenth century.

He was the exponent of  'High Baroque Classicism'.

Contrary to the views of his great rival  Pietro da Cortona on the question of whether history paintings should have few figures or many this work upholds Sacchi`s view that few is better

On 12th March 1622, Pope Gregory XV canonised the five great saints of the Catholic Reform: Saints Philip Neri, Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of Avila, Francis Xavier, and Isidore of Seville

The next day there was a procession from St Peters to each of the churches of the five new saints

This painting celebrates the arrival of the procession at the Chiesa Nova where the great banner depicting the saint was deposited

The great standard shows St Philip Neri in the act of praying to Madonna and Child

It was made of red silk and commissioned by the regents of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany: Maria Maddalena of Austria and Christina of Lorraine. It is still in existence. The saint was of course born in Florence

Exuberant theatricality is the keynote of this work

Do we see Sacchi himself on the bottom right gazing out at us over the centuries ?