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Ludovico Brea (Nice, 1450 about - 1522 about)
Oil on panel, 213 x 134 cm
Painting Section (inv. no. PB 311)
Church of San Bartolomeo degli Armeni, Genoa
The Crucifixion was the central panel of a polyptych to which, in addition to the Saint Peter exhibited here, also Saint Nicholas of Tolentino and Saint Vincent Ferrer belonged, these are currently preserved in the Národní Galerie in Prague. The work is attributed to Ludovico Brea from Nice, one of the formost protagonists of Ligurian figurative culture. Tradition has it that it was created by the artist for Biagio de'Gradi in 1481. In that year, in fact, Biagio de'Gradi drew up his will, in which he asked to be buried in his chapel inside the church of San Bartolomeo degli Armeni. In the document, however, there is no mention of the polyptych, which was perhaps commissioned by his heirs, who were responsible for the completion and decoration of the chapel. Recent studies suggest that the painting dates to the last years of the fifteenth century, as suggested by is stylistic-formal characteristics.
The luminous naturalism is of Nicoise and Avignon derivation and Flemish imprint, consistent with Brea’s training, while the plastic rendering is derived from Lombard painting, and in particular from Foppa, with whom Ludovico collaborated in the drafting of the polyptych Della Rovere in Savona (completed in 1490 ), and which characterizes the previous works, and here add to the admirable balance of the composition, given by the relationship between space and figures, the attention to the play of light and shadow and the breadth of the landscape.