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The Pieta
17th Century
The Pieta
[La Pietà]
Oil on canvas
55 x 77 cm  [HxW]
Galleria Spada, Roma

Borgianni was a Roman painter who studied in Spain, returning in time to quarrel with Caravaggio before the latter fled in 1606. This dramatically foreshortened image of Christ’s body laid out on an altar-like block of stone is one of few surviving works by Borgianni. Dramatic lighting with strong shadows enhances the cold realism of the corpse against the warm tones of the living worshippers. St John gently caresses Christ’s limp hand.

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