Artibus et Historiae no. 56 (XXVIII)2007, ISSN 0391-9064
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ALESSANDRO BALLARIN - Jacopo Bassano's Annunciation to Abraham of the Leave for Canaan of the Giusti del Giardino Collection
This contribution brings to light a painting by Jacopo Bassano, known up to now only thanks to the engraving by Jan Sadeler, done about 1595, when it was part of the collection of the Veronese Earl Agostino Giusti. Due to the collection's dispersal in the first half of the 17th century, the picture may have passed to the collection of the Veronese lawyer Giovanni Pietro Curtoni, where it could have been disguised behind the inexact inventory description of the Annunciation to the Shepherds. The painting represents a theme frequently treated by Bassano: God's announcement made to Abraham, that he is to leave his native country, Haran, in order to go to Canaan. Previously the author had tried to date the composition by means of the engraving, on the grounds of its formal qualities He suggested that the "lost" Giusti picture could have been painted at the end of the 1560s, when Bassano reached a classical formulation for the Biblical themes, as it is shown in the well-known Pastorale in the Budapest Fine Arts Museum. However, careful examination of the picture led him now to change his mind about it: the refined use of whites on the canvas and the chiaroscuro, induce the author to suggest dating around 1575, a crucial year for the painter's experience in creating nocturnal scenes.