The Deposition of Christ and Saints

The canvas of the Deposition of Christ and Saints by Leandro Bassano (1599)

This work is from the ancient church of the Nacelle and originates in the workshops of the da Ponte's of Bassano. The artist responsible is Leandro, fourth child of the celebrated Jacopo, with who he collaborated for many years, along with his brother Francesco, on the decoration of the Doge's Palace in Venice. In his juvenile phase his language manifested accuracy and expressive freshness with a tendency for minute and accurate description, typically represented by variegated and almost shining, bright tones. He was also an able portrait painter, a sector in which he expressed a high abilty for quality works.
Towards the end of his active working life he became closer to the new manner of Venetian painting, influenced by the tenebrous painting of Caravaggio and diffuse in Venice thanks to the works of Luca Giordano. This painting appears to be one of the works of Leandro already oriented towards this style. Certain choices of composition show a debt to the analogous work of Giordano.
The lively sense of colour in this work is uninhibited and sure like the movement of the robust figures therein, dynamism is evident in the angels also, in the upper part of the panel. In this scene the painter appears involved in the tragic intensity of the tragic figures displaying them with a notably strong interplay of light and shadow. The portraits of the characters on the dais, in which the painter underlines once more one peculiar characteristic of his, allow us to guess that that are those responsible for the commissioning or the work.


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