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Raising of Lazarus

Ottino Pasquale called Pasqualotto

(Verona c. 1580 - 1630)

This work was sold to Scipione Borghese by a certain Martiniani, owner of a vineyard next to the Pinciana estate. Like the composition with the same subject by Alessandro Turchi, called Orbetto (inv. no. 506), this small painting was executed on slate. It shows the persistence of the late-Mannerist motifs of Verona, mediated by the Roman pictorial culture of that period, in particular the production of Carlo Saraceni and Giovanni Lanfranco in the Eternal City.

The scene depicts the episode from the Gospel of John (11:43), specifically the precise moment in which Christ, having uttered the famous phrase ‘Lazurus, come forth’, witnessed the man’s resurrection. Here he is portrayed as he is about to leave the tomb amidst the incredulity of those around him.


Object details

Inventory
507
Location
Date
c. 1614
Classification
Period
Medium
oil on slate
Dimensions
46 x 36 cm
Frame

19th-century frame decorated with palmettes, 56.5 x 48 x 7.3 cm

Provenance

(?) Rome, collection of Scipione Borghese, 1614 (purchased from a certain Martiniani; see Della Pergola 1955); Rome, Borghese Collection, 1693 (Inv. 1693, room XI, no. 96); Inv. 1790, room VI, no. 23; Inventario Fidecommissario, 1833, p. 32; purchased by Italian state, 1902.

Exhibitions
  • 1959 Venezia, Cà Pesaro;
  • 1974 Verona, Palazzo della Gran Guardia;
  • 2011 Illegio, Casa delle Esposizioni.
Conservation and Diagnostic
  • 1940 Aldo de Rinaldis;
  • 1996-1997 Paola Tollo, Carlo Ceccotti (frame).

Commentary

The painting corresponds to the entry in the 1693 inventory which reads, ‘[...] of roughly two palms on slate with the raising of Lazarus, at no. 652. Ebony frame, by Martiniani’. As with other works purchased from Martiniani, this entry mistakes the former owner for the painter (see Della Pergola 1955). The error was corrected by Paola della Pergola, who rightly pointed out that the name given here is that of the work’s first owner, who lived in the vineyard bordering the Borghese estate.

The 1790 inventory ascribed the work to Ludovico Carracci, an attribution accepted by Giovanni Piancastelli (1891) but rejected by Adolfo Venturi (1893), who rather wrote of the painter Alessandro Turchi of Verona, called Orbetto. Based on a comparison with the Assumption of the Virgin in the church of Santa Maria in Vanzo and with the works of the Pellegrini chapel in the church of San Bernardino in Verona, in 1926 Roberto Longhi (1926; 1928) proposed the name of Pasquale Ottino. His theory was accepted by Paola della Pergola (1955) and all subsequent critics, in particular Pietro Zampetti (1959), who pointed to similarities between the figure of Christ here and that in Caravaggio’s The Calling of Saint Matthew (Rome, Church of St. Louis of the French). Erich Schleier (1971) likewise concurred, connecting the painting with a drawing held in London (Madonna and Child, Gronan collection), which until then had been believed to be by Orbetto. On the occasion of the great 1959 exhibition on Venetian painting at Ca' Pesaro in Venice, Zampetti rejected Della Pergola’s hypothesis (1955) that the work entered the Borghese Collection in 1614: in the view of this scholar, Ottino’s production of this period still showed a certain influence of the culture of Veneto and Emilia, while the work in question does not. In 1974, Annamaria Calcagni Conforti expressed agreement with this opinion.

The scene is taken from the New Testament episode (John 11:43) of Lazarus, depicting the moment in which Christ witnessed the man’s resurrection, having just uttered the famous phrase ‘Lazurus, come forth’. As Zampetti (1959) suggested, this refined composition on slate shows traces of both Giovanni Lanfranco and the late-Mannerist culture of Veneto which Ottino absorbed in the workshop of Felice Brusasorci. The painter filtered these influences through his exposure to the Roman pictorial culture of the 1620s, in particular the productions of the followers of Caravaggio as mediated by the style of Carlo Saraceni. By this time, Ottino was thoroughly familiar with this milieu, having arrived in Rome in 1609.

Antonio Iommelli




Bibliography
  • G. Piancastelli, Catalogo dei quadri della Galleria Borghese, in Archivio Galleria Borghese, 1891, p. 191;
  • A. Venturi, Il Museo e la Galleria Borghese, Roma 1893, p. 220;
  • R. Longhi, Galleria Borghese: il trio dei veronesi, in “Vita Artistica”, II, 1926, pp. 123-126;
  • R. Longhi, Precisioni nelle Gallerie Italiane, I, La R. Galleria Borghese, Roma 1928, p. 224;
  • A. De Rinaldis, La Galleria Borghese in Roma, Roma 1939, p. 26;
  • P. della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese in Roma, Roma 1951, p. 34;
  • P. della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, I, Roma 1955, pp. 122-123, n. 221;
  • P. Zampetti, in Il Seicento veneto, catalogo della mostra (Venezia, Cà Pesaro, 1959), a cura di P. Zampetti, T. Pignatti, Venezia 1959, p. 33;
  • E. Schleier, Drawings by Alessandro Turchi, “Master Drawings”, 9, 1971, p. 141;
  • A. Calcagni Conforti, in Cinquant’anni di pittura veronese: 1580 - 1630, catalogo della mostra (Verona, Palazzo della Gran Guardia, 1974), a cura di L. Magagnato, Verona 1974, pp. 177-178;
  • C. Stefani in P. Moreno, C. Stefani, Galleria Borghese, Milano 2000, p. 315;
  • K. Herrmann Fiore, Galleria Borghese Roma scopre un tesoro. Dalla pinacoteca ai depositi un museo che non ha più segreti, San Giuliano Milanese 2006, p. 163;
  • H. Seifertovà, Malby na kameni-Painting on stone, Praze 2007, pp. 78-91;
  • F. Trastulli, in Aldilà. L’ultimo mistero, strumenti e concerti tra Cinquecento e Seicento, catalogo della mostra (Illegio, Casa delle Esposizioni, 2011), a cura di S. Castri, A. Geretti, Torino 2011, pp. 200-201 n. 13;
  • S. dell’Antonio, Ottino, Pasquale, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, LXXIX, 2013, ad vocem.