R.A.H. (againstathorn) wrote,


So for the past couple weeks I’ve been obsessing over this early 18th century Genoese Baroque painter known as Alessandro Magnasco. His work is typically identified by rough brushwork and elongated figures, and scenes are usually set within dreary landscapes or foreboding architectural settings. The best way I can describe his overall style is Sebastiano Ricci meets Francesco Guardi, but even that doesn’t quite hit the mark. He’s probably best known for his depictions of the Inquisition and Christian martyrdoms. I’d say he was a definite precursor to Goya, at least when it comes to the representation of certain themes, and they bear similar stylistic elements, though unlike Goya his work lacks a real social conscious or agenda.

Anyway, Tuesday at the HWLC I got my hands on an old oversized book of Magnasco’s work which was published in 1949 by Bergamo: Istituto Italiano d'Arti Grafiche. Yeah, all the text is in Italian, which I’m unable to read, but nevertheless it’s a handsome book which includes almost 500 plates—granted a majority of these plates are close ups of the same painting. Also, most of them are in black & white as opposed to color. This was still a cool item but its overall condition was acceptable at best. It’d definitely seen better days; I felt as if I was damaging it just my flipping pages. I spotted a copy online—same year, publisher, edition, ect.—for a reasonable price, but I don’t know if its worth all the trouble since my current office set up at home isn’t exactly ideal for shelving old, brittle books, especially since I don’t use the air conditioner in the summer and the humidity would probably contribute to further deterioration.

I know, I know, it’s such an unfair world.

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