Emilio Cavenaghi - inv. 262

Emilio Cavenaghi (1852-1876)

View of the Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa
tempera on canvas  
22 x 32 cm
signature and date
"E. Cavenaghi 1874"
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 262

not on display
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On very thin canvas, the painting is in good condition.
It shows the monumental complex of the Piazza del Duomo (cathedral square) in Pisa (also known as "Campo dei Miracoli"), with the Baptistery and side of the cathedral on the right. The scene is animated with figures, as often occurs in Emilio Cavenaghi’s works.
This genre of mixing perspective and architectural aspects was much favoured by the artist and the pictorial technique used for the details shows one of its characteristics: thick brushstrokes, in relief, with touches of light skilfully highlighting architectural elements and clouds, achieving an original almost three-dimensional effect.

This painting was shown in 1874 at the Brera Fine Arts Exhibition with the title Battistero sulla piazza del Duomo di Pisa [Baptistery in the Cathedral Square in Pisa]. Cavenaghi exhibited a further eight paintings on that occasion, almost all portraying interiors or exteriors of monuments in Pisa. During the last months of 1873 and the first of 1874 the artist had stayed in the Tuscan town, probably for health reasons.
It undoubtedly gave Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli much pleasure to acquire an image depicting one of the symbolic places of the Italian Middle Ages, acknowledged as such also by contemporary foreign scholars.
He also possessed another of Emilio Cavenaghi’s perspective-architectural paintings, Interior of the Church of San Marco in Milan.