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  • Tanzio and the

    xvii century


The hall dedicated to the XVII century and its most influential local artist, Antonio dEnrico known as Tanzio da Varallo (circa 1582 – 1633), is a suggestive “room inside another room”. Two Praying Angels by Melchiorre d’Enrico, Tanzio’s older brother (circa 1570/1575 – post 1614), welcome the visitor, along with an Annunciation (1613) by an anonymous influenced by Tanzio and another Annunciation by Tanzio’s nephew Melchiorre the younger (1585/1590 – post 1620).
The Mysteries of the Rosary, dated to the first half of the century, are a wooden bas-relief, showing traces of paint and gold, testifying the vivid narrative taste of local art.

The artistic influence and the attention to reality of Michelangelo Merisi from Caravaggio (1571-1610) are evident in the paintings realised by Tanzio after returning to Valsesia (c. 1616): a Saint Anthony of Padua and David with the Head of Goliath (c. 1616).

In the other well-known David (1623-1625) Tanzio regains possession of his Lombardy roots and shows the infuence of other artists working in the Borromeo entourage.

Other works of great interest include the sketch of two angels holding a crown for the altar of Lumellogno (post 1623), and paintings from the 1630’s: the Madonna with Child and Saints Francis and Charles Borromeo and the Saint Roch, an ex-voto for the plague of the 1630s; the small panel representing Blessed Giovanni Tavelli from Tossignano (second quarter of the XVII Century) shows the intervention of a coworker.

The Head of a Gentleman in terracotta is ascribed to Tanzio’s brother Giovanni d’Enrico (1559-1644), realised during the years in which the two worked together in the Sacro Monte (1616-1629).
In this hall can also be seen some of the drawings belonging to the vast collection of the Museum.
Along the perimeter of the hall, other pieces take place: the Marriage of the Virgin (1641), a work by the Florentine painter Luigi Reali which is close to the climate of the Sacri Monti and shows the influence of the Lombardy artist Morazzone, and a Herodias with the Executioner of Genoese style.

Other works testify the artistic tendencies in Milan during the XVII Century: a Saint Matthias ascribed to Daniele Crespi (1598 – 1630), a Saint James the Greater attributed to Carlo Francesco Nuvolone (1609 – 1662) and a nice Portrait of a Woman from the circle of Francesco del Cairo (1607 – 1665). Another piece close to Daniele Crespi is the panel representing an Ecce Homo (Behold the man), enriched by a sumptuous frame carved by the local artist Cristoforo Martinolio called il Rocca (c. 1599 – post 1663), active in the Sacro Monte.
Between Lombardy and Piedmont finds its roots the Martyrdom of Saint Maurice, whilst the Massacre of the Innocents (second quarter of the XVII Century) is probably the work of an anonymous Lombardy artist.

To the same cultural environment belongs the Burial of Christ, donated to the Pinacoteca in 1852 by the parish priest of Civiasco, father Luigi Ramellini.