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Liberale da Verona

Verona, 1445 - 1526/1529

The greatest charm of this painting is connected precisely to the attempt to convey a truly nocturnal atmosphere, with a strong impact due to the effective idea of the backlight of the serrated mountains, which stand out against the pale rose of the incipient dawn, and the chromatic tones muted, like a continuous bass, tending towards a monochrome tinged with bluish, yellowish and pinkish shades.

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In the silence that precedes dawn, the Virgin and Saint Joseph are kneeled to adore the Child; behind them an angel arrives, with a diadem and long blond hair, distant in his minute proportions; to the right and behind the Virgin there are columns of little angels. The ox and the donkey flex their front legs, to adore the Infant as well; the first is grazing on straw, blissfully. Above, God the Father spreads his arms, wrapped in a vortex cape, in which lives the simplified memory of Francesco di Giorgio’s inventions that must have struck Liberale at the time of his Sienese activity around 1470.

Liberale da Verona - Nativity - Flavio Gianassi



Oil on panel, 83.7 x 62 cm 



Verona, Mevez-Pellegrini family (16th Century) 

Florence and Rome, Philipp von Stosch collection (1750 c.)

Germany, private collection

The technique of the execution is particular, in line with the experimentalism of Liberale da Verona’s maturity. He uses full-bodied and solid mixtures, manipulated with energy, spatulating with decisive strokes the yellow mantle of God the Father, from whose chest small and scratchy, pink and greenish rays rain down in contrast, or dirtying in the robe of Saint Joseph an ochre base with grey-green shadows and clumps of pinkish light. The halos are outlined with colour, but then shaded with shell gold, like transparent plates. The preparatory drawing emerges here and there, for example under the white veil of the Virgin

Liberale da Verona_edited.jpg
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