The impact of Caravaggio's naturalism upon European painting was immediate and violent. A famous prodigy who felt this influence was Gioacchino Assereto of Genoa (1600-1649). Through The John R. Van Derlip Fund, from which came not only such important paintings as our Daddi, our Gainsborough and our Bonnard, but also some of our finest sculpture, the Institute has purchased Assereto's Saint Augustine and Saint Monica.1
The great Bishop is shown at the moment his mother converted him to Christianity. He appears as a studious seminarian of the seventeenth century and his mother, speaking the words on the scroll, “Where there is light you will find Him,” a is sibyl-like matron.The austere, dark power of Caravaggio's naturalism is present in an especially dramatic form and explains Assereto's popularity with Spanish collectors. The brush is not used as neatly and concisely by Assereto as by Caravaggio, but with more spirit and imagination—as an expressive agent of richness and force. For the succeeding century and a half, virtuosity of the brush was a Genoese specialty, as witness Castiglione and Magnasco.Endnotes
Referenced Work of Art
- Ex coll. Lord Lee of Fareham.
- Gioacchino Assereto, Genoese, 1600-1649. Saint Augustine and Saint Monica. Oil on canvas, 39” x 48 1/2”. The John R. Van Derlip Fund, 1960, 60.35.