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date: 15 October 2019

Crosato, Giovanni [Gian] Battista [Giambattista]locked

(b c. 1685–6; d Venice, July 15, 1758).
  • Susan Harrison Kaufman

Extract

[Giambattista]

(bc. 1685–6; d Venice, July 15, 1758).

Italian painter and stage designer. His earliest known work, the Flagellation of Christ (c. 1706; Venice, Mus. Diocesano S Apollinia), for the Scuola del Cristo of S Marcuola, is a dark, shadowy painting that reveals the strong influence of tenebrist trends of the 17th century. Crosato, however, belonged to the generation of Venetian painters such as Jacopo Amigoni, Sebastiano Ricci and Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, who were developing a lighter, more colourful style. His tonality changed from the darkened shadows of the Flagellation to the light-filled frescoes for Stupinigi, the hunting palace of the Duke of Savoy, near Turin, which constitute his next known work. The most successful of these, the Sacrifice of Iphigenia (begun 1733), on the vault of the antechamber of the queen’s apartment, is a highly dramatic work full of bright bold colours accentuated against the blue sky and white clouds. The gold, blue and red tones are effectively placed so as to lead the eye around the room and guide it through the narrative, which is related through the specific gestures or glances of a few figures, at the same time suggesting the idea of greater numbers. Equally direct is Crosato’s use of sharply defined, highly saturated colours, which remain constant in their intensity and effective in providing visual unity; his linear style defines solidly modelled forms. Other rooms at Stupinigi decorated by him included the antechapel of S Umberto, with figures of hunters and lady companions, and the Sala degli Scudiere, with the story of ...

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