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Giacomo Legi
Lot No. 590 
Giacomo Legi

Giacomo Legi

(Liège 1600–1640 Milan)
A market scene,
oil on canvas, cm 210 x 290, unframed

Private collection, Brescia;
European private collection

A. Orlando, Un fiammingo a Genova: documenti figurativi per Giacomo Legi, in “Paragone. Arte”, 46.1995, S.3, 4, p. 76, fig. 69;
A. Orlando, I fiori del barocco, pittura a Genova dal naturalismo al rococò, catalogue of the exhibition, edited by A. Orlando/C. Balsamo, Milano 2006, p. 44 under cat. no. 5, fig. 2;
A. Orlando, Dipinti genovesi dal Cinquecento al Settecento: ritrovamenti dal collezionismo privato, Turin 2010, p. 129;

The extensive composition is in a format which is typical of the artist and has the monumentality and the dimensions of a history painting. The composition can be compared with the two canvases by Legi (Albergo dei Poveri, Genoa (234 x 324 cm, 190 x 370 cm; see Orlando 1995, fig. 52, 53), where the figures were painted by Domenico Fiasella, and with the Interno di bottega at the Musée d’Art et Historie, Genève (194 x 291 cm). As noted by Orlando, the present painting contains a forcefulness in the figures and a quality in some of the details such as the grape leaves and the artichokes at the very centre of the scene. The rich brushstrokes, the vivid colors and the use of light, with clear chiaroscuro contrasts, are typical of Legi’s works.

Although it is difficult to place Legi´s works in chronological order, as none are dated, the present painting was probably executed in his mature period as the composition is elaborate and there is an abundance of figures and details. As with most still life painters Legi often re-used individual motifs in different compositions, as for example the figure of the female cook preparing a pie, depicted on the left side; this is very similar to the figure in a canvas in Genoa, Palazzo Bianco (Musei di Strada Nova, 149 x 185 cm; see Orlando 2006, p. 44, cat. no. 5, fig. 2).

Born possibly around 1600–1605, Legi trained with Jan Roos, who may have been a relative, working in his well-established workshop in Genoa between 1620–1625 and 1638–1640, before moving to Milan were he died around 1640. Legi was active in Genoa at a timewhen the still life genre of painting was evolving in more complex compositions in line with baroque taste. Although not much is known of his life, Legi was much admired and imitated by the local painters in Genoa as the present work testify. The Market (120 x 170 cm, Genoa private collection) executed by the young Domenico Piola with the intervention of Stefano Camogli, who had also trained in the Roos workshop, quotes directly from the present composition (see A. Orlando op. cit 2010, p. 129, fig. 43).

Specialist: Mark MacDonnell

Giacomo Legi
Convert currency
  • realized price**
    EUR 122,300
    USD 139,500
  • estimate
    EUR 100,000 to 150,000
    USD 114,000 to 171,000

Mon.-Fri.: 9.00am - 6.00pm (CET)
+43 1 515 60 200


Old Master Paintings
Date: 17.04.2013, 17:00
Location: Palais Dorotheum Vienna
Exhibition: 06.04. - 17.04.2013

**Purchase price incl. all charges, commissions and taxes

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