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Serodine, Giovanni

Rome (?), 1600 - Rome, 1630

Serodine's family originated from Ascona, near lake Maggiore, and moved to Rome, where his father is documented in 1595 and where the artist was probably born around 1600. He produced his early works in conjunction with his brother Giovanni Battista, an expert stucco artist, an activity in which both were engaged. Indeed, documents prove that the initial commissions Giovanni Serodine received were to collaborate in this decorative speciality for the church of the Conception in Spoleto, in 1624, together with mural paintings. The earliest known easel painting can be dated to around 1625: "The Calling of the Sons of Zebedee" (Ascona, parish church); both this and another painting in the same church, "Christ at Emmaus", were executed in Rome and taken to Ascona by his father following Serodine's early death. Serodine was undoubtedly influenced by Manfredi and Gramatica, and also by Orazio Borgianni and Marcantonio Bassetti of Verona. He enjoyed a fine reputation in Rome and received commissions for the churches of S. Lorenzo Fuori le Mure and San Salvatore in Lauro. He also painted works on canvas for Duke Asdrubal Mattei, the brother of Caravaggio's patron Ciriaco Mattei; they denote his links to Borgianni and even Hendrick ter Brugghen. In the final stage of his short life he continued to produce excellent painted compositions, now in Rancate, Turin and Milan, which are distinguished by their rich impasto and mastery of colour, especially in faces, which are rendered with great tonal sensitivity. He painted a portrait of his father (Lugano) and used him as a model for "Saint Joseph in a Holy Family" (Ascona). It is reckoned that his last work was the great "Coronation of the Virgin", executed in Rome and transported by his father to Ascona (parish church). During his mature phase Serodine took contrasts of light and shadow even further than Caravaggio, though he remained faithful to the moral and human aspects of the latter's art (Luna, J. J.: From Titian to Goya. Great Masters of the Museo del Prado, National Art Museum of China-Shanghai Museum, 2007, p. 394).

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