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Martyrdom of St Bartholomew
17th Century
Martyrdom of St Bartholomew
[Martirio di San Bartolomeo]
Oil on canvas
205 x 158 cm  [HxW]
Museo e Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte, Napoli

Cavallino builds up his forms with a dense impasto and used strong colour effects with a silvery quality on the two key figures, rare in art from Naples. He may have been influenced by Stanzione. While his art may appear to look forward to the Rococo it has more substance of feeling and intent. St Bartholomew was skinned alive for destroying temples in India and this work has a dark brooding quality to its stark realism. The elegant soldier in the hat is Cavallino.

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