Adoration of the Magi
34.8 cm x 24.5 cm (13 11/16 in. x 9 5/8 in.)
Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione
(Genoa, Italy, 1609 - 1664, Mantua, Italy)
Medium and Support:
Brush with reddish-brown and pale blue oil paint on cream antique laid paper par
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Numerous artists from the late 16th century onward, and especially those of Venetian experience, occasionally employed oil on paper for preparatory studies of a pronounced pictorial character. Castiglione not only experimented incessantly with the technique, but in his later career adopted it as his preferred means of drawing. Monochrome -- usually the reddish-brown seen here -- and very open brushwork maintained the linear personality of these studies, while the oil selectively impregnated into the paper allowed variation in their resolution, saturation of color, and to an extent even hue. This is an excellent example of this distinctive and often arresting hybrid.