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Giovanni Paolo Pannini

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Giovanni Paolo Pannini

Estimated price: € 4.000 / 8.000
USD: 4.276 / 8.552 $GBP: 3.369 / 6.738 £
Starting price:  2.000
  • USD: 2.138 €
  • GBP: 1.685 €
  • USD: 2.138 $
  • GBP: 1.685 £
USD: 2.138 $GBP: 1.685 £

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Giovanni Paolo Pannini

Giovanni Paolo Pannini
Piacenza 1691 – 1765 Rome, attributed
Joseph being sold by his brothers
Oil on canvas, relined
72.5 x 98 cm, with frame 97 x 112.5
Inscribed on the reverse

Giovanni Paolo Pannini was a famous Italian painter and architect of the Baroque period. He was initially trained in his home town before moving to Rome, where he enjoyed great success and became one of the leading figures of the Roman art scene. Pannini’s works were characterised by their intricate detail and skilful use of perspective, earning him widespread recognition and the patronage of prominent figures of his time.

This painting depicts a scene from the biblical tale of Joseph being sold by his brothers. Set against a backdrop of ancient ruins, the painting captures the dramatic moment with impressive realism and emotional depth. In the foreground, a young Joseph stands in front of a well, his figure characterised by vulnerability and innocence, in stark contrast to the scheming faces of his brothers, who sit on the left. The surrounding ruins in the manner of a capriccio’s architectural fantasy, including a monumental arch with fragments of a temple and towering Ionic columns, convey a sense of the transience of human endeavour.

On the right-hand side of the painting is a group of people on horseback and with camels, presumably trying to buy Joseph. Their presence lends the scene an aspect of urgency and impending doom, as the boy’s fate hangs in the balance. In the distance, a mountainous landscape stretches out, poignantly evoking the vastness of the world beyond the limits of the moment.

The masterful composition and his meticulous attention to detail bring the biblical story to life and invite the viewer to reflect on themes such as betrayal, redemption, and the complexity of human nature. Through skilful brushwork and a deep understanding of light and space, the artist creates a timeless masterpiece that continues to captivate audiences centuries after its creation.

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