Rome, Galleria Prencipe, 2019.
A pupil of Giuseppe Diotti at the Carrara Academy in Bergamo, Francesco Coghetti moved to Rome in 1821, where he was welcomed in the studio of Vincenzo Camuccini, maintaining, however, a close link with his homeland for which he created altarpieces, religious decorations and portraits. The study from life of the works of Raphael, Domenichino, Guercino, Guido Reni and the Carraccis allowed him to infuse his innate classicist grace and naturalness into his compositions. A member of the Congregation of Virtuosos at the Pantheon and of the Accademia di San Luca, he worked intensely for the Torlonia family in the destroyed palace in Piazza Venezia, in the palace in Via Condotti, in the villa on Via Nomentana and in the villa in Castel Gandolfo. In the 1840s, his style evolved in the direction of a purist language revived by the neo-Venetian chromatism of his early Lombard training. Within his intense activity is placed the altarpiece The martyrdom of Santa Felicita and her seven children, for the parish church Santi seven martyr brothers of Ranica in the province of Bergamo completed in 1857, after a series of postponements. Commissioned in 1834, after an initial delay, the work should have been delivered in 1852, but was actually completed only in 1857. In the large composition, dedicated to the martyrdom of the Roman matron Felicita and her seven children, the artist has with wisdom thirteen figures exhibiting a great variety of poses and expressions drawn from the classicist and neo-Venetian repertoire. The matron Felicita with her youngest daughter around her neck is placed on the left of the canvas on a stone step surmounted by two columns, which refer to the layout of the Titianesque Pala Pesaro . If these cultural coordinates appear evident in the final work, even more interesting is the drawing in question, perhaps made around 1850, when Coghetti had begun to devote himself actively to the altarpiece, which goes beyond the traditional purist repertoire, allowing to re-emerge the Lombard roots of the artist's early training, allowing us to grasp the refinement and complexity of his visual culture. The saint is studied in the position in which she will appear in the final work together with the henchman on the left who brutally snatches her daughter from her neck. On the right appears the figure of the robed priest, in whose temple the death sentence had taken place, who leaves the scene in horror. The space on the left is completely saturated by the mighty figure of a horse according to a tradition that from the Conversion of St. Paul (Milan, Santa Maria presso San Celso) by Moretto leads to the Vocation of St. Paul of Caravaggio (Rome, Santa Maria del Popolo) passing through the Sant'Ambrogio on horseback chases away the Arians (Milan, Castello Sforzesco) by Giovanni Ambrogio Figino.
Teresa Sacchi Lodispoto
 A. Pinetti, Francesco Coghetti pittore (1802 - 1875), Bergamo 1915, pp. 29-30.