Migliara Giovanni, View of the Cloister of the Charterhouse of Pavia; View of the Novitiate Cloister of the Basilica of Sant’Antonio in Padua
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1,820 - 1,828; oil on canvas
cm. 30 x 41,5
On the stretcher, brand: “Nicola Guido”
Inventory: AH01498AFC
Provenance: Alessandria, Margherita Micheletti (in 1985)
Exibition: 2014, Bourg en Bresse , n. 47; 2019, Torino, n. 29

This painting, mistakenly identified as a view of the cloister of the Charterhouse of Pavia, is really a view of the Novitiate Cloister of the Basilica of Sant’Antonio in Padua, whose distinctive architecture of domes and towers can be seen in the background.

There is no information regarding Giovanni Migliara’s stay in Padua, which could in all likelihood have taken place around the mid-1820s, since between 1820 and 1827 the artist travelled through the Veneto to Venice. At this time he may also have made studies for the Venetian Scene in the  Collection, which shares the same evocative nocturnal setting with the work under examination here, where the cold moonlight is combined with the warm tones of the torches that illuminate the burial scene in the foreground and the sad funeral procession moving away on the other side. This extremely precise perspective view is thus animated by a touching episode that evokes the secluded aspect of the monks’ cloistered life, and conjures up the shadowy, dark world of the monastery so dear to international Romantic culture.

Migliara began to develop this theme in 1814, influenced by the works of the painters François Marius Granet and Henry Fradelle who in 1814, on the occasion of the Esposizione di Belle Arti di Brera, showed a canvas of The Courtyard of the Ospedale Militare di S. Ambrogio, in which the perspective and light effects are identical to those in this painting. Here Migliara displays his skill in reinventing his own youthful models by adopting a virtuoso play of light and a highly refined enamelled finish typical of his mature works.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio archivistico Cariplo, Opere d'arte. Atti d'acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 2/3, pratica no. 879 R/695 (Certosa di Pavia. Il chiostro)

Bibliography

Paola Zatti, Giovanni Migliara, Veduta del chiostro della certosa di Pavia, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. L’Ottocento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 1999, n. 165, pp. 258-259, ill. ;
Elena Marconi, Il paesaggio romantico, in L’Ottocento in Italia. Le arti sorelle. Il Romanticismo 1815-1848, a cura di Carlo Sisi, Electa, Milano, 2006, p. 78, ill n. 76 (Veduta del chiostro della Certosa di Pavia);
Lodovica Vigevano, in L'Invention du passé. Gothique, mon amour…1802-1830, catalogo della mostra, Bourg en Bresse, Monastère Royal de Brou, 19 aprile - 21 settembre 2014, Edition Hazan, Malakoff Cedex, 2014, n. 47, p. 121;
Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Giovanni Migliara. Viaggio in Italia, catalogo della mostra, Torino, Museo di Arti Decorative Accorsi - Ometto, 28 febbraio - 16 giugno 2019, Silvana editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo, 2019, n. 29, p. 135, ill. p. 80

Elena Lissoni
 
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