Alessandro Magnasco "Pittor Pitocco"

Alessandro Magnasco "Pittor Pitocco"

Click here to view image

Author/ School/ Dating:

Alessandro Magnasco (Genova, 1667-1749)

Technique and Dimensions:

Oil on canvas


First floor lounge (inv. no. M.G.L. 1329)

Object Type:



The Pittor pitocco, a late work by Alessandro Magnasco, was probably produced after his return to his homeland, which took place in 1735, towards the end of a life full of wandering and enriching cultural experiences. It is a sort of symbolic self-portrait, in which the artist, depicting himself at the centre of a group of beggars, gypsies, ragged children and soldiers, returns to a particular setting to portray the dramatic and anti-rhetorical themes which he developed during his stays in Florence and Milan and through his contact with the culture of the Enlightenment. In the scene, teeming with small figures who seem to emerge with difficulty from the darkness, characters appear who are recurrent in the work of the great painter, such as the gypsy breast feeding a child, the cripple and the musicians slightly to the rear of the scene, intent on improvising what appears to be a parody of a "concert".