Eleuterio Pagliano - inv. 267

Titolo: 
The Origin of the Compagnia della Misericordia
Numero di Inventario: 
267
Tipologia: 
paintings
Collezione: 

Painting

Classe iconografica: 
History and Literature
Parole chiave soggetto: 
Compagnia della Misericordia
Motivo attribuzione: 
signature
Autore, ambito, luogo di produzione: 
Eleuterio Pagliano (1826-1903)
Ambito e luogo di produzione: 
Milano
Milan
Lombardia
Lombardy
Italy
Pubblicazione: 
Si
Periodo: 
1850
Datazione specifica: 
1857
Libri correlati: 
Tipo di iscrizione: 
signature and date
Trascrizione o identificazione: 
"E. Pagliano 1857"
Materia e Tecnica: 
oil on canvas
Opere correlate: 
Data di Ingresso: 
1879
Acquisizione: 
Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Tipo di acquisizione: 
bequest
Collocazione riservata: 
Uffici
Tipo di collocazione: 
deposit
Collocazione: 
not on display

Dated 1857, the canvas was presented the same year in Milan at the Brera Academy exhibition, where it was purchased by marchioness Rosa Trivulzio, mother of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli.
The painting, set in fifteenth-century Florence, illustrates an episode that, traditionally, leads to the reconstruction of the Compagnia della Misericordia. Founded in the thirteenth century, this confraternity had among its duties the burial of poor people, a task which was taken from it in 1425, when the political authorities merged it with the Company of the Bigallo.
The canvas illustrates the dramatic moment in which a citizen lays in front of the gonfalonier the body of a young woman, left unburied in Santa Croce because it had arrived after the hour appointed for burials.  This provocative act would have thus underlined the need to reinstate the Compagnia della Misericordia  and to entrust it again with all its tasks.

Following the principles of history painting, the artist has paid great attention to the correct characterization of the clothing of the figures and to the convincing setting of the scene. Following the teaching of Domenico Morelli, Pagliano nevertheless grafts onto the historical subject a veristic sensitivity, making his characters not only the walk-ons of a re-evocation, but the actors of a drama.

L.P.
H.G.