Name of Object:
Martyrdom of St. Januarius (?)
Date of Object:
Artist(s) / Craftsperson(s):
Cesare Fracanzano (attributed) (1612, Monopoli (Bari)-1656, Barletta)
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Oil on canvas
h: 99 cm; w: 121 cm
Type of object:
The canvas was acquired by Camillo Borghese in 1818. Critics do not agree on the attribution, although it is acknowledged as clearly belonging to the culture of Southern Italian Baroque. The painting has been attributed to Cesare Fracanzano, a Puglian artist who first trained with Ribera and was later influenced by the artistic currents inspired by Van Dyke. Other scholars have suggested that the work is by a follower of Francesco Fracanzano, the brother of Cesare.
Ignatius of Antioch – who inspired another Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits – is perhaps portrayed here at the time of his martyrdom, killed by wild animals. Ignatius, one of the Fathers of the Church wrote seven “Letters” for the first time in which appear the terms “Catholic Church” and “Christianity”. It could also be the iconography of St. Januarius who was similarly killed by wild animals. The painting is characterised by an extreme theatricality of gestures.
How Object was obtained:
The Borghese Collection was acquired by the Italian State in 1902.
Della Pergola, P., Galleria Borghese. I dipinti, I, Rome, 1955, n.158, p. 88–89.
Additional Copyright Information:
Copyright image: Archivio fotografico Soprintendenza Speciale PSAE e Polo Museale della Città di Roma.
Citation of this web page:
Sofia Barchiesi, Marina Minozzi "Martyrdom of St. Januarius (?)" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.discoverbaroqueart.org/database_item.php?id=object;BAR;it;Mus11;45;en