Luca GIORDANO (Naples, 1632 - 1705) Cain...

Lot 12
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Estimation :
40000 - 60000 EUR
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Result : 192 000EUR

Luca GIORDANO (Naples, 1632 - 1705) Cain...

Luca GIORDANO (Naples, 1632 - 1705)
Cain and Abel
Signed lower right: JORDANUS/F.
Ancient restorations.
194 x 145 cm

We propose to date this painting to the 1660s, when Luca Giordano incorporated more baroque elements, taken from Pierre de Cortone (e.g. the angel in the upper left corner) into the Riberesque naturalism present in his earlier works. The composition, all in movement, exacerbates the magnitude of the drama at play (Genesis 4. 1-15). The donkey's jaw which Cain used to knock Abel out is highlighted by its central position, reminiscent of an iconography initiated by Filippo Vitale (private collection).

During his stays in Venice, the first of which took place around 1653, Luca Giordano saw Titian's painting on the same theme, preserved on the ceiling of the sacristy of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, where Abel is violently thrown to the floor. Here, his lifeless body, in a diagonal line, brings the viewer into the composition and recalls the foreground of "Saint January interceding for the cessation of the plague of 1656", painted in 1660 (Naples, Capodimonte Museum) 1, a sort of meditation on the tragic aspect of the human condition.

Another version of this subject, of different composition and length, is currently in the art trade 2.

A painting on this subject is quoted in the inventory of Alessandro Savorgnan done on August 7, 1699: "Abele morto con un angelo, h 13 quarte, ca., di Luca Giordano" 3. The height of 13 quarte, about 208 cm, could correspond to the height of our painting with its original frame. The authors have often noted that some of Giordano's paintings anticipated nineteenth-century French realist painting, comparing Le bon Samaritain (Rouen, Musée des beaux-arts) with that of Théodule Ribot (Paris, Musée d'Orsay). Our composition, for its part, seems to foreshadow Justice and Divine Vengeance pursuing the Crime of
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