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Čís. položky 196


Pier Francesco Cittadini, called Il Milanese


(Milan 1613/16–1681 Bologna)
Portrait of six children,
oil on canvas, 87 x 120 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private collection, Rome

The attribution of the present painting has been confirmed by Nicosetta Roio (written communication in copy).

The present portrait of six children must depict siblings given their similar facial features and the intimacy of the image. Their refined clothes, and especially those of the eldest girl, seen second on the left wearing a pearl necklace with a distinctive hairstyle, not only suggest the high social rank of the family, but also allows a dating of the painting to the 1670s.

Pier Francesco Cittadini’s career as an esteemed child portraitist is documented by other paintings by the artist that were once in prestigious Bolognese collections, for example, the Portrait of a Girl with a plate of cherries and the Portrait of a Lady with two Children that belonged to the Zambeccari collection and are dated to the 1650s, which are now conserved in the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (respectively inv. nos. 32 and 81). Close comparisons can also be made between the present painting and others representing children in a group, for instance, the Concert given by four Este Princes in the Museo San Telmo in San Sebastian in Spain (see N. Roio, Pier Francesco Cittadini detto il Milanese in: E. Negro/M. Pirondini (eds.), La Scuola di Guido Reni, Modena 1992, p. 173).

In the present painting, the children occupy the foreground against a dark background: they hold various objects that point to allegorical meanings. The girl on the left notably has flowers gathered in her pinafore, these are likely an allusion to the swift passing of life, whilst the second child from the right clearly holds an egg: a symbol of fertility and eternal life. The little girl seated on the far right holds a pomegranate: this is a symbol of the resurrection of Christ, to which her gesture of pointing her index finger upwards, is also likely intended to allude.

This painting fully displays the naturalistic current of Lombard painting of which Pier Francesco Cittadini was a leading exponent. Having trained in Milan with Daniele Crespi, from whom he learnt the practice of working from life, he moved to Bologna after the plague of 1630, where he entered the studio of Guido Reni. This period was a sojourn in Rome when he came into contact with both view painters, and the so-called Bamboccianti who also shared an interest in the truthful representation of everyday reality. Cittadini, known as ‘Il Milanese’ in Bolognese sources, was especially appreciated for his genre representations, which he depicted with extreme attention to detail, landscapes, still lifes and individuals from the Lombard nobility and upper-classes. Cittadini’s works combined a quality of illusionism, of Flemish declination, with a more intimate, poetic component that is distinctive. Cittadini was settled permanently in Bologna by about 1650 and he continued to practice his art there until 1670, when owing to illness, he was forced to hand over his studio to his children, some of whom continued his practice.

18.12.2019 - 14:00

Odhadní cena:
EUR 10.000,- do EUR 15.000,-

Pier Francesco Cittadini, called Il Milanese


(Milan 1613/16–1681 Bologna)
Portrait of six children,
oil on canvas, 87 x 120 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private collection, Rome

The attribution of the present painting has been confirmed by Nicosetta Roio (written communication in copy).

The present portrait of six children must depict siblings given their similar facial features and the intimacy of the image. Their refined clothes, and especially those of the eldest girl, seen second on the left wearing a pearl necklace with a distinctive hairstyle, not only suggest the high social rank of the family, but also allows a dating of the painting to the 1670s.

Pier Francesco Cittadini’s career as an esteemed child portraitist is documented by other paintings by the artist that were once in prestigious Bolognese collections, for example, the Portrait of a Girl with a plate of cherries and the Portrait of a Lady with two Children that belonged to the Zambeccari collection and are dated to the 1650s, which are now conserved in the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (respectively inv. nos. 32 and 81). Close comparisons can also be made between the present painting and others representing children in a group, for instance, the Concert given by four Este Princes in the Museo San Telmo in San Sebastian in Spain (see N. Roio, Pier Francesco Cittadini detto il Milanese in: E. Negro/M. Pirondini (eds.), La Scuola di Guido Reni, Modena 1992, p. 173).

In the present painting, the children occupy the foreground against a dark background: they hold various objects that point to allegorical meanings. The girl on the left notably has flowers gathered in her pinafore, these are likely an allusion to the swift passing of life, whilst the second child from the right clearly holds an egg: a symbol of fertility and eternal life. The little girl seated on the far right holds a pomegranate: this is a symbol of the resurrection of Christ, to which her gesture of pointing her index finger upwards, is also likely intended to allude.

This painting fully displays the naturalistic current of Lombard painting of which Pier Francesco Cittadini was a leading exponent. Having trained in Milan with Daniele Crespi, from whom he learnt the practice of working from life, he moved to Bologna after the plague of 1630, where he entered the studio of Guido Reni. This period was a sojourn in Rome when he came into contact with both view painters, and the so-called Bamboccianti who also shared an interest in the truthful representation of everyday reality. Cittadini, known as ‘Il Milanese’ in Bolognese sources, was especially appreciated for his genre representations, which he depicted with extreme attention to detail, landscapes, still lifes and individuals from the Lombard nobility and upper-classes. Cittadini’s works combined a quality of illusionism, of Flemish declination, with a more intimate, poetic component that is distinctive. Cittadini was settled permanently in Bologna by about 1650 and he continued to practice his art there until 1670, when owing to illness, he was forced to hand over his studio to his children, some of whom continued his practice.


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Datum: 18.12.2019 - 14:00
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