(Helsingor 1624 - Rome 1687)

  • Author: Bernardo Keilhau known as Monsu 'Bernardo (Helsingor, 1624 - Rome1687)

  • Technique: oil on canvas 72 x 96 cm

The eighteen-year-old painter moved to Amsterdam where he remained until 1651, attending Rembrandt's home and then that of Henrick Uylenburgh. He moved to Italy in that year where he remained for the rest of his existence, about thirty-five years. Rome was the final destination of an articulated itinerary; but the most significant experience is represented by the five years spent in northern Italy, between Venice, Bergamo and some cities of Romagna. The impact with the Venetian artistic culture put him in contact with the illustrious sixteenth-century tradition and revealed the richness of the mixes by Domenico Fetti, Bernardo Strozzi and Francesco Maffei. The sources still recall a dense production of portraits that still remain to be identified. As has been stated, a similar influx of paintings with such subjects, created with virtuosity, did not fail to attract the attention of subsequent Venetian painters, particularly that of Gianbattista Piazzetta. Between 1655 and 1656 Monsù stayed in Romagna; it was used by Cardinal Acquaviva, legate of Ravenna, and by the Benedictines of San Vitale.

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