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This painting was formerly in the Marcenaro Collection, where it was attributed to Poussin. The report written by Federico Zeri on the occasion of its purchase by Cariplo in 1975 suggested that it might be the work of Andrea de Lione, a Neapolitan artist apparently influenced by the Genoese painter Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, known in Italy as Grechetto, whose presence in Naples is documented for 1635. Raffaella Colace accepts Zeri’s proposal suggests a date in the 1640s, when the influence of Castiglione’s style was combined with Poussin’s Classicism. The scholar further suggests that the work in question may be based on an original by Castiglione similar in style to the Adoration of the Golden Calf (San Francisco, Fine Art Museum), derived in turn from a lost prototype by Poussin. This would also be the source of a replica differing in some details now in the Museo Ala Ponzone, where it is attributed to Castiglione’s circle and catalogued as Sacrifice to the God Terminus. To conclude, the work in question can unquestionably be attributed to Andrea de Lione and attests to the adoption of a composite vocabulary in which the substratum of Neapolitan artistic culture is overlaid with influences that, while different, are all characterised by a classical interpretation of the Baroque. The painting is unusual in terms of iconography. Previously regarded as a sacrifice to Pan, the episode was recognised by Federico Zeri as a reference to the biblical story of Solomon, the regal figure with the crown, and his abandonment of the Jewish faith to worship pagan divinities. The scene is constructed by placing in the foreground, together with dancing cherubs, the group of scantily clad young women offering wine and the blood of a lamb to the bust of a satyr on a square column decked with flowers. As often happens, an episode from the Bible becomes a pretext for the depiction of bacchanalian and orgiastic scenes.

Details

  • Title: Solomon Worshipping Idols
  • Creator: Andrea de Lione
  • Date: 1640/1650
  • Provenance: Caterina Marcenaro Bequest, Cariplo Foundation, 1976
  • Physical Dimensions: w126 x h99 cm (Without frame)
  • Exhibition: Museo Diocesano, Corso di Porta Ticinese, 95, Milano
  • Type: Painting, oil on canvas
  • Rights: http://www.artgate-cariplo.it/en/disclaimer.html
  • External Link: www.artgate-cariplo.it

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