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Gioacchino Assereto (Genova, 1600-1649)
Oil on canvas, cm. 120 x 94,8
Genova, Musei di Strada Nuova - Palazzo Bianco, inv. PB 292
Since 1923 in the collections for purchase from Palazzo Patrone
With Saint Francis in ecstasy comforted by the angel opens the selection of works by Gioacchino Assereto, one of the most gifted protagonists of the Genoese school of painting of the seventeenth century. Having arrived at Palazzo Bianco in 1898, following the purchase of the Palazzo Patrone in Piazza della Zecca, it is a work of great quality but problematic in terms of dating, to be placed perhaps shortly before 1630.
Performed with a sensitive technique, it is a very concentrated composition, to which dramatic light version add acute notes white lumeggiature. He interprets ecstasy as a lacerating event: the bruised flesh of the saint, his robe, his hands with stigmata, the skull that emerges from the shadow express a precise concept of Imitatio Christi, which culminates in physical contact between Christ and Francis, whose head, with clear symbolic intent, covers that of the Crucifix.