Domenico Carnevale (1524 – 1579)

Adoration of the Shepherds

Oil on copper, 42 x 28 cm

Frame 54 x 36 cm

Report by Prof. Emilio Negro

Domenico Carnevale (Sassuolo, 1524 – Modena, 1579)

:

Domenico Carnevale (Sassuolo, 1524 – Modena, 1579)

Adoration of the Shepherds

Oil on copper, 42 x 28 cm

Frame 54 x 36 cm

Report by Prof. Emilio Negro

The painting represents the Adoration of the shepherds, the Child in the centre, with the Madonna kneeling in prayer next to her and an angel behind her; a woman with a child in her arms, a shepherd with a sheep on the right, a piper on the left and various other male and female characters turn towards him in the foreground. The architectures in the background, among which a glimpse of the landscape can be glimpsed, are hidden in the upper part by the clouds, where a "heavenly glory" camps with three little angels in flight.

The painting shows mannerist features attributable to the second half of the sixteenth century, and can be traced back to an artist from the Modena area, with stylistic references to the Bolognese Samacchini (1532 - 1577) and Passerotti (1529 - 1592). More precisely, it can be attributed to Domenico Carnevale (1524-1579), one of the most notable masters of the sixteenth century active in the local area. Carnival was formed in Emilia, his homeland, where he worked for many years. However, a clear Roman influence also transpires from his works, dictated by a long experience in the city, during which he also dedicated himself to the restoration of the Sistine Chapel. Trained in the late Mannerist environment of Modena, he is also linked to the Parmesan Correggio and Ferrara Dossesca traditions; Furthermore, the Carnival always maintains in his work a slight archaic feeling, heir to the late Roman Mannerist tradition.

The main stylistic reference can be found in a work with a similar subject and iconographic setting, coming from the church of the Pio Istituto Orfanelle of San Geminiano in Modena, currently part of the Provincial Art Collection, attributed to the same influence as the Carnival. Another interesting comparison should be identified with A presentation of Jesus in the temple, at the Galleria Estense in Modena.

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