Saturday, May 30, 2015

Francesco Hayez (1791-1882)

Francesco Hayez (1791-1882)
S Michele Arcangelo Traffige Il Drago/ St Michael Archangel Slays The Dragon
Oil on canvas
Parrocchia Sant'Andrea Apostolo, Iseo, Brescia

Hayez was the most important figure in the transition from Neoclassicism to Romanticism in Italian painting

His Romantic leanings come out mainly in subject-matter rather than in technique, 

He trained in Rome in the circle of Canova and Ingres. 

He painted religious, historical, and mythological works in a vein owing something to Delacroix and Delaroche, and Ingres

Ferrari wrote of the picture of St Michael:
".. Ecco uno Spirto / Velocissimo scendere dall’etere / Col dardo in mano fiaccator possente / Dell'altero Satanno: oh son divine / Quelle angeliche forme!"

Below is the depiction of the Gospel of John (8: 3-11) in what might appear to be somewhat in the style of the German Nazarenes:

Francesco Hayez (1791-1882)
Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery
Oil on canvas
43.2 x 53.9 cm
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

In the next year we find another work depicting Samson`s defeat of the Lion now in Florence

Francesco Hayez (1791-1882)
Sansone e il leone atterrato
Samson and the Lion thrown to the Ground
Oil on canvas
210 x 162 cm
Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Florence

The full title of the work is:
Sansone, atterrato un giovane leone, medita di farlo in brani, provando così il dono della prodigiosa sua forza 
The work was commissioned by Ambrogio Maria Martiniano Uboldo (1785 - 1865) and then exhibited at the Brera

Uboldo was a patron of Hayez. He was a soldier under Napoleon and then under the Austrians

A great part of the income in terms of his Will was left for a Hospital for the poor

The work has a martial feel

The last religious masterpiece by Hayez was one of Christ in the Passion:

Francesco Hayez (1791-1882)
Ecce Homo
c.1870 - 4
Oil on canvas
128 cm x 210 cm
Galleria dell’Accademia Tadini di Lovere,  Brescia 

It was done while not in good health

However it was point of honour to complete it

He had promised his grandson

It was, he wrote a "puntiglio di mantenere la promessa che ho dato a mia nipote di fare avere il dipinto l'Ecce Homo pei primi del venturo Agosto".