Gaetano Gandolfi and his brother Ubaldo belonged to the end of the great tradition of Baroque painting in Bologna, which had begun with the Carraccis in the late 16th century. Among Gaetano’s most impressive works are his oil sketches painted with loose, impasto brushstrokes. This painting, presented in the gallery for the first time after decades in storage, has recently been restored to reveal the brilliance of its technique and the luminosity of its colouring. This is a preparatory oil sketch for a privately owned altarpiece that Gandolfi created in 1774 for the Chapel of St. Petronius in the Villa Piedimonte in Bologna.
It shows the commissioner Petronio Giovanardi Rossi’s patron saint, Saint Petronius, the 5th century Bishop of Bologna. With a grand gesture he points to the basilica dedicated to him as well as the Garisenda and Asinelli towers, which still dominate today’s Bologna cityscape. Behind Petronius kneels Saint Bernardin of Siena, to whom an angel offers his attribute, a tablet with Christ’s monogram, IHS.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
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