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Gioacchino Assereto and dark naturalism

Gioacchino Assereto distinguished Genoese painting during the first half of the seventeenth century and his older colleague Bernardo Strozzi was an essential point of reference for him, to the detriment of the lessons learned in the workshop of Luciano Borzone. The first to detect the ideal affinity of intent between the two authors was Roberto Longhi, who did not hesitate to underline how the spiritual mannerism of the Lombards characterizes the youthful trials and how the vague Caravaggism is a strozzesque transfer structured in its precious chromatic and of drafting.
With the beginning of the third decade, however, we will see Assereto mitigate the Strozzesque temptations by working the bright and harsh color in the shape of modeled foils, bearing witness to the study of Procaccini and Cerano and expressing that distinctive expressive and gestural tension in light. At the same time, his palette is enriched in shades, showing off a precious malachite green, purple and orange hues, while the physiognomies and drapery take on geometrizing shapes that evoke Cambiaseschi, Ansaldian and Nordic memories, in a sort of neo-mannerism. His painting is supported by impeccable drafts, crossed by subtle vibrations and transparencies that presage the results of full maturity, with material variations and pictorial management aimed at accentuating the mimesis of the flesh tones and the tragic expressiveness of the characters as demonstrated in the canvas depicting ” King Alfonso VII of Castile and the Genoese in Almería” , which is of historical importance due to the probable commissioning of Giovanni Stefano Doria during the years of his dogate (1633-1635) who in this canvas celebrates the conquest of the Spanish city. This dating is also confirmed by the composition and pictorial management, in which the drawing rigor of the drafts is accompanied by a freer pictorial management of great expressive power that will characterize the later production.

Lot 527. Gioacchino Assereto (Genoa 1600 – 1647), King Alfonso VII of Castile Oil on canvas, cm 141X182 Estimate € 60,000 – 120,000