Copies of artists from Emilia

Anonymous artists, XVII century

Of the numerous antique copies of famous paintings in the collection of Marchesa Vittoria Toschi Mosca, two canvases on exhibit are based on well known prototypes by painters from Emilia, of importance in the Marche during the XVII and XVIII centuries, not only because Emilia borders on the Marche region, but also for reasons of patronage.

The proliferation of copies and replicas, often made for commercial reasons in the workshop that had produced the originals, indicate the desire of collectors to increase the prestige of their private collections, even if only with copies of paintings considered, however, to be models of indubitable pictorial excellence.

Christ and the Samaritan is a seventeenth century copy of a well known original by Guercino, of which he made two replicas. The first version of the original was made for the Baroni di Lucca family in 1640 (now in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, Lugano). The second, made in 1641, is now, following a series of complex collectors’ vicissitudes, in the National Gallery of Ottawa, Canada. There exist various other known antique copies of this subject by Guercino.

The second canvas, a little known Madonna and Child, recently recovered in the deposit of the Municipal Galleries of Pesaro, is a replica of an original by Carlo Cignani, of which several autographed editions are known. The popularity of this subject is borne out by a number of engravings of the painting. It should, however, be noted that the high quality of the work and the closeness of the style to that of Cignani indicate that it was probably produced in the master’s workshop.

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