2005 | 18 | 51-69
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Paintings of Suffering Christ and Crucified Christ by Michelangelo Palloni

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The article discusses three unsigned depictions of Christ, painted in oil on canvas, which today are in Czestochowa (ca. 1675-1685, in the Archbishop Museum), in Torun (ca.1690, in the Church of Our Lady) and in Piekoszów near Kielce (1st decade of the 18th c., in the parish church). On the basis of stylistic analysis presented in the article these three paintings are included into the oeuvre of Michelangelo Palloni (1637-1711/13), an artist active in Poland from the 1670s onwards, also as a court painter of King Jan III Sobieski. It can be assumed that his paintings were commissioned by patrons belonging to the gentry, who were either associated with the royal court or lived within the clientele systems of noblemen's courts. Attribution and dating are possible mostly on the basis of two depictions of Crucified Christ by Palloni: a signed oil painting on canvas from the Camaldolite church in Pozajscie (in today's Lithuania) and a fresco composition on the wall of the main parochial church in Wegrów (ca.1706-1708). In specialist literature this painter is mentioned mostly as the author of wall paintings and a continuator of the tradition of Pietro da Cortona. Recognition of the three paintings as Palloni's enables us to reflect on analogies between his frescoes and canvas paintings (e.g. a limited palette), and also to verify the variety of sources in his painting. As a fresco painter he remained within the circle of influence of the Roman followers of da Cortona, while in painting on canvas he was closer to the eclecticism of the Florentine painters of the 2nd half of the 17th c. A comparison of Palloni's depictions of Christ with compositions by Florentine Cortonists reveals the characteristic features of Palloni's manner of painting. In his manner the typically Florentine sculpture-like quality of the depicted figure, as well as the Mannerist tension in the composition, are lessened through the means of the Venetian range of colour and a decorative set which is of Roman provenance. Stylistic transformations in Palloni's output, observed on the basis of the depictions of the Saviour, are defined as a replacement of Cortonist manner and erudite studies on the glitter of fabrics and gold complexion with a representation painted in impasto.
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  • M. Gorska, Instytut Badan Literackich PAN, ul. Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Poland
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