Johann Heinrich SCHÖNFELD (1609 - 1683) Martyrdom...

Lot 31
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8000 - 12000 EUR
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Result : 44 800EUR

Johann Heinrich SCHÖNFELD (1609 - 1683) Martyrdom...

Johann Heinrich SCHÖNFELD (1609 - 1683)
Martyrdom scene
Canvas.
Old restorations.
71 x 96 cm

The style of this work is characteristic of the artist's Neapolitan period. We thank Professor Giuseppe Porzio for suggesting that the Martyrdom of St. Stephen from the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany (canvas, 70.5 x 94 cm) could be the counterpart of our painting.
After two years in Rome, Schönfeld moved to Naples in 1638, where his work took on new accents of great pictorial refinement. Under the influence of Aniello Falcone, Andrea di Leone, Salvator Rosa or Domenico Gargiulo, he will develop an intimate painting, with subtle shades of pink, brown, lilac, grey or white that stand out on the dark preparation. Moreover, in the rendering of the atmosphere, in the poetic motifs and in the delicacy of the details, he seems close to Cavallino, thirteen years his junior, without it being clear who was under the influence of the other. From this period, let us mention the Triumph of David (Karlsruhe Museum), the Victory of Joshua at Gabaon (Prague, Castle Gallery), or the Adoration of the Holy Trinity (Paris, Louvre Museum).
The frieze composition develops on a dark background that highlights the silvery coldness of the atmosphere and the elegant touches of colour that awaken the whole. The subject, difficult to identify, is probably the martyrdom of Cyriacus of Jerusalem. Converted to Christianity after witnessing the resurrection of a man who died in contact with the True Cross, Cyriac refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods, and was imprisoned and tortured under the order of Emperor Julian the Apostate in 363. After having his hand cut off, he was condemned to swallow molten lead.
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