(Molfetta, 1703 - Napoli, 1766)
Riposo dopo la fuga in Egitto
Olio su tela, cm 99X65
Artista tra i più importanti e noti del settecento italiano ed europeo, Giaquinto è documentato a Napoli dal 1721 dove acquisè i rudimenti della pittura con Francesco Solimena divenendone allievo e seguace, per poi passare alla bottega di Nicola Maria Rossi. Il percorso formativo e il successo coprono tempi ravvicinati, tanto da consentire al pittore di inaugurare nel 1727 un atelier a Roma, a dimostrazione della sua autonomia e affermazione, come documenta altresì l'amicizia con l'architetto Filippo Juvarra che gli consentirà di lavorare per i Savoia tra il 1733 e il 1738. Nuovamente a Roma Giaquinto modulerà la sua arte con sensibilità sempre più rocaille, anticipando stilemi neoclassici e facendo propri alcuni echi maratteschi, mentre iniziava la sua produzione destinata al re Carlo III di Spagna, che chiamò il pittore a Madrid per decorare lo scalone la Capilla Real, impresa che coinvolse i più prestigiosi artisti d'Europa come Anton Raphael Mengs e Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. La tela qui presentata, da considerarsi centrale per l'attività del maestro, è stata riconosciuta senza esitazioni al Giaquinto da Riccardo Lattuada e fa riferimento alla pala raffigurante il 'Riposo durante la fuga in Egitto', realizzata entro il 1739 nella cappella dedicata a San Giuseppe della Chiesa di Santa Teresa a Torino. L'artista iniziò la decorazione a fresco e su tela Giaquinto a partire dal 1733 e a pendant del 'Riposo' è il Transito di San Giuseppe. Sino ad oggi è stato considerato bozzetto preparatorio del 'Riposo in Egitto' per la Cappella di San Giuseppe un dipinto di alta qualità, proveniente dalla collezione Busiri Vici e in seguito donato al Louvre (cfr. P.Rosenberg. A. Brejon de Lavergnèe, 'Corrado Giaquinto et la France', in 'Corrado Giaquinto (1703-1766), Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi (1981)', a cura di P.Amato, Molfetta, 1985, p. 87, fig. 27). La definizione delle fasi di elaborazione delle opere di Giaquinto sarà sempre oggetto di discussione e si impone cautela davanti ad opere di piccolo formato che si riferiscano a composizioni di vasto respiro, destinate ad altari o a grandi gallerie. Non fa eccezione a questa difficoltà il caso in specie: l'esecuzione sintetica e la coerenza pressochè totale con la pala di Santa Teresa spinge a ritenerlo il bozzetto pressochè definitivo per la redazione finale e, come Già detto, spinge altresì a spostare la versione del Louvre al rango di uno splendido ricordo con varianti.
Il dipinto è corredato da una scheda critica di Riccardo Lattuada.
Bibliografia di riferimento:
E. Gabrielli, 'Vita e opere di Corrado Giaquinto', in 'Giaquinto. Capolavori dalle Corti d'Europa', catalogo della mostra, Milano-Firenze, 1991, p. 39, figg. 7-8- p. 57, nota 51, e p. 41, p. 58, nota 66, con bibliografia precedente
K. Fiorentino, in 'Corrado Giaquinto. Il cielo e la terra', catalogo della mostra a cura di M. Scolaro, Bologna 2005
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