Gherardo delle Notti
Bizarre paintings anche cheerful dinners
From 02/10/2015 to 05/24/2015 When Gerrit van Honthorst went suddenly from Rome in the late spring of 1620 to make definitely return in his native Utrecht, had to be about ten years that he lived in Italy. Probably for he had come to Rome at the beginning of the second decade of the seventeenth century (1610-1611 approximately). The period of Italian activity of the painter is qualitatively richer and full of stylistic innovations. The approach to the revolution of Caravaggio was almost immediate and his early paintings attest the power of art and the rawness of a young nordic artist dazzled by the naturalism of Caravaggio. Honthorst soon became a great protagonist, his style regularized and reached peaks of admirable virtuosity, especially in the scenes to light at night (hence the nickname Gherardo delle Notti); his paintings gained the honor of occupying important altars of Roman churches and Genoese (not so common fact for a painter of strong imprint nature). He soon became sought by prestigious collectors, as the Marquis Vincenzo Giustiniani and the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo II. It is due to the passion of Cosimo II to Gherardo that today Florence has four beautiful paintings of Honthorst: among these, three are devoted to convivials ubjects, decisive for the development of this type of images in Italian and Nordic places. Even the ambassador of the Medici in Rome, Piero Guicciardini, commissioned Gherardo in 1619 the altarpiece for the main altar of his chapel in Santa Felicità: the large Adoration of the Shepherds painted light at night, which was the victim of the mafia attack at Uffizi in 1993. Florence is therefore a significant venue for the setting of an exhibition on the Italian activities of Gherardo delle Notti, which is now a painter of great significance and international interest, which has not yet been dedicated a monographic exhibition, nor in Italy nor abroad.