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The Brazen Serpent
Giaquinto, Corrado
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Giaquinto, Corrado

Molfetta, Apulia (Italy), 1703 - Naples (Italy), 1766

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The Brazen Serpent

1743 - 1744. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

Moses Striking Water from the Rock and The Bronze Serpent are related to frescos on the same subjects in the apse of the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. Those decorations commissioned in 1743 by the procurer general of the Cistercians and abbot of Santa Croce, Raimondo Besozzi, were paid by Pope Benedict XIV. As was his custom, Giaquinto painted various versions of the compositions for the apse. Those at the National Gallery of London are larger (136.5 x 95 cm) and very finished, and are considered presentation sketches for the pope. In comparison, the works from the Arango Collection differ in some details of the landscape and in certain figures while their measurements and subjects correspond to those of two works inventoried in 1815 upon the death of Pablo Recio, canon and royal chaplain, which were then appraised at 1,100 reals. Moses Striking Water from the Rock was described in that inventory as: one of the best-drawn and best-colored sketches by don Corrado Guiacuinto. Its composition is the richest and best ordered. It has the most beautiful highlights and an admirable tone reigns through its colors. The same document describes The Bronze Serpent as a painting of the best group in its composition with an admirable harmony in all its shades.

Technical data

Related artworks

Inventory number
Giaquinto, Corrado
The Brazen Serpent
1743 - 1744
Height: 63.8 cm; Width: 48.3 cm
Pablo Recio y Tello (?), Madrid; Vicente Joaquín Moscoso y Guzmán, XIII Count of Altamira (?), Madrid, 1815-16; Vicente Isabel de Moscoso y Álvarez de Toledo, XIV Count of Altamira (?), Madrid; Collection of Plácido Arango Arias; Bequest of Plácido Arango Arias, 2015.

Bibliography +

Bassegoda, Bonaventura, La colección pictórica del canónigo don Pablo Recio y Tello, Locvs amoenvs, 8, 1996, pp. 250, n. 186 y 187.

Pérez Preciado, J. J., El marqués de Leganes y las artes. Tesis Doctoral, II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, 2008-2009, pp. 919.

Frutos, Leticia de, Corrado Giaquinto en las colecciones del cardenal Pompeo Aldovandi (1668-1752), Ricerche sull'arte a Napoli in età moderna, 2014, pp. 120-127 [123-124].

Museo Nacional del Prado, Plácido Arango Arias. Donación de 25 obras maestras de su colección de arte antiguo al Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. n. 20.

Maurer, G, 'Corrado Giaquinto. El Milagro del Agua. La serpiente de bronce' En:, Donación de Plácido Arango Arias al Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado,, Madrid, 2016, pp. 56-57 n.21.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Memoria de actividades 2015, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2016, pp. 64-67.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2906.

Update date: 05-11-2021 | Registry created on 24-08-2015

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