Lanfranco's paradise

Lanfranco's paradise
Lanfranco's paradise
Anonim

This is one of the great domes painted by the Italian painter Giovanni Lanfranco, using all the techniques and visual effects that were so popular during the Baroque era. In this case it is the work he carried out between 1641 and 1643 on the dome of thechapel of San Gennaro in the cathedral of Naples. But he did similar works for example in the church of San Andrea della Valle

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Lanfranco's paradise

By the way, both in the Neapolitan cathedral and in San Andrea della Valle there are other wall paintings next to its dome, and they are frescoes by his contemporary Il Domenichino, another master of the baroque trend of “illusionism”.

The so-called illusionism actually occurred in all the arts, not only in painting, but also architecture and baroque sculpture. In this way, they played with a series of elements that sought to generate the illusion of reality, for which they did not hesitate to use the most artificial resources. Of all of them, the most famous is the trompe l'oeil effect (a trick to the eye). By means of this resource, an object is painted with extraordinary verisimilitude and realism within larger paintings. It can be a vase, a window to the sky, or the picture frame itself. So that it seems to the viewer that it really is an object that has been integrated into a religious or mythological scene.

Of course, illusionism is one ofthe currents with greater ornate ornamentation, within the usual recharge of the baroque style. And impossible foreshortenings and perspectives of the most complicated that suggest a new spatiality are sought. But the magic of it is that everything happens within already familiar spaces such as the walls of a palace or the dome of a church, as in the case of the work of Lanfranco.

This painter is a real master at it. Here we see how he alters the real space with a simulated one covered by a sky full of light and characters that form a real whirlwind together with the clouds. In a composition similar to the aforementioned dome of San Andrea della Valle.

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Set of frescoes from the dome of San Gennaro

The objective of this composition is for the worshiper to look up and see himself immersed in this morass of celestial characters, and he achieves this with a powerful luminosity, the gradual use of colors and a perspective in which it seems that we look towards the infinite sky.

It is clear that this resource of painting a celestial dome where the sky is represented with clouds, is not a new idea of ​​Lanfranco. In fact, he is inspired by Renaissance frescoes like the Assumption that he paintedCorreggioin Parma almost a century before

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