Noah Leading the Animals into the Ark
39.5 cm x 57.3 cm (15 9/16 in. x 22 9/16 in.)
Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione
(Genoa, Italy, 1609 - 1664, Mantua, Italy)
Medium and Support:
Oil on antique laid paper mounted on cradled wood panel
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
This oil sketch reveals two fundamental debts to Netherlandish art. The technique, especially employed in such a loose and summary manner, derives from the frequent preparatory studies of the great Flemish painters, Rubens and Van Dyck, who were active at Genoa early in the century. And the subject responds to the Genoese taste for animal paintings that was acquired from 17th-century Holland. Castiglione rarely essayed animals as such, but many of his habitual historical subjects are pretexts for featuring them. The constancy of his interest and the continuity in these subjects are made clear by the comparison of this study with his large etching from more than a decade later.