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Charms of Art & Artworks from an important private Roman collection

Tuesday 23 February 2021, 03:00 PM • Rome


Paolo Gaidano

(Poirino 1861 - Torino 1916)

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary


€ 700 - 1.200


€ 4.596

The price includes buyer's premium


oil on canvas
37 x 29 cm

signed and dedicated lower right: to the Noble Woman / Amalia Capello / PGaidano / 1899

inscription at the top: S. Elizabeth of Hungary


Collection of the Countess Amalia Canonica, from 1899; and by inheritance to the current owners.

The Poirinese painter Paolo Gaidano, known above all for the fresco of the Crucifixion that adorns the presbytery of the sanctuary of the Sacred Heart of Bussana, was also a talented portraitist. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the last century he created a series of portraits of well-known personalities, among which the famous ones of the Duke of Aosta and Vittorio Emanuele III stand out. The wide range of portraits that flanked sacred subjects and genre paintings testify to the variety of interests and production of the artist.

This work has always been part of the private collection of Countess Amalia Canonica, to whom it was dedicated by Gaidano himself. It depicts Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, princess of Thuringia, wife of Ludwig IV. The saint, widowed, entered the Franciscan Third Order, and in 1228 she retired to the hospital that she had built in Marburg, Germany, to devote herself entirely to charitable works and to care for the sick until her death at the age of twenty-four. St. Elizabeth is traditionally considered the patroness of bakers and hospitals in particular because of an episode: when her husband asked her to see what she had inside her apron, the breads she had hidden there for the poor and the sick miraculously turned into roses. The dedication to the countess, also the author of good works, therefore aims to create a parallel between the two noble philanthropists. The face of the young saint is outlined here with incisiveness and her gaze, fixed upwards, appears steeped in a sober but heartfelt and engaging devotion and mysticism, blending the portrait approach to the sacred subject.

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