According to a recent publication by Loredana Lorizzo, this scene representing S. Philip Neri in adoration of the infant Jesus at the presence of Mary and Joseph was very dear to the painter Giacinto Gimignani for he included the original painting in his own will. As Lorizzo argues, the painting must have been realized in 1648 to celebrate the birth of his son, named after the saint. In his ‘post mortem’ inventory (1680) Gimignani mentions a plate with “S. Philip with the Madonna” which is most likely the plate used for this impression.
The etching at the Biblioteca Casanatense in Rome reproduced in Lorizzo’s article presents some discrepancies with ours. The inscriptions are the clearest difference: the name of the Saint is reported on the stairs where he is kneeling [S.FILIPPO NERI] and on the bottom right is the address of the publisher: [Si Stampa da Vincenzo Billij (Vincenzo Billy) alla Chiesa nova. Hycinthus Gimignianus Inven. 1649]. The illustrated impression preserved at the Casanatense, results much smaller in respect to ours, as it was cut before publishing. Also, the treatment of light and shadow in that impression is more dramatic, realized with intense crosshatchings in the darker areas. Our impression is more delicate and it is thus a remarkable state, possibly the first.
Our impression was cut to the plate mark and pasted on a thick sheet of laid paper. On the bottom left, in pen and brown ink a different attribution is given: ‘Carlo Morato fecit’, possibly pointing to Carlo Maratta, a painter in the same circle of Gimignani.
The space left blank under the composition suggests that Gimignani intended to include an inscription.
On the bottom right corner are some imperfections from the plate.
Extremely interesting impression.
For reference see: Loredana Lorizzo, Un fregio «con quantità de putti» di Giacinto Gimignani per il Palazzo Pamphilj alla Fontana di Trevi, in STORIA DELL’ARTE, Vol. 135, 2013, pp. 89-99.
Etching on paper, pasted down on laid paper; plate mark: 343 x 256(*) mm, total: 368 x 275 mm; two small stains on the right, under the cloud held by the putto and another on the left. Otherwise in good condition. Date of print 1649.
(*) the impression was cut on the lateral sides, preserving the external contour of the picture.
Incl. BTW € 1452,00
Excl. BTW € 1.200,00