(Genoa, 1624 – 1659)
The Virgin, God the Father and a Carmelite saint
oil on canvas
This exquisite canvas, extraordinary for the color rendering of blues and reds, was first made known by Giuliana Biavati in 1962 when the artwork belonged to the Genoese shipowner Angelo Costa.
The painting is considered by critics to be an extremely significant work to understand Valerio Castello’s brilliant transition to the early Baroque. Castello is in fact the Genoese painter who managed, through his ingenious style, to lead Ligurian painting towards modern painting. The canvas, with the typical dimensions for a private chapel of a noble palace, represents The Virgin, the Eternal Father and a Carmelite saint. The presence of the Carmelite saint suggests a commission from the Doria family, thanks to which the Carmelite order spread widely in the city.The composition owes much to the Italian and international baroque and presents the cornerstone of the composition in the diagonal. The rhythm of the gestures, the multiplication of the glances, the rendering of drapery and the little angels in flight contribute to give further dynamism to the scene.
Valerio expresses his skill precisely in the contemptuous brushstrokes and in the intense shades of blues and reds: the scene is at the same time plausible and magical, real and unreal, so as to seem like a dream setting typical of mystical apparitions.