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Permanent Collection

1600–1700

Giuseppe Vicenzino

(active 2nd half 17th cent.)

A Vase with Flowers
oil, canvas, 72 x 57 cm

ZD S 1997046, SAZU, Ljubljana
These two paintings, which were designed as pendants, are fairly characteristic of Giuseppe Vicenzino’s work. The harmonious brushstrokes in the Venetian manner, which recall the floral still lifes of Margherita Caffi, are combined with a composition which is modelled on the Roman school. The paintings are typical of one type of decorative Italian still life at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century; there is no trace of naturalism in them.

Restored: Date unknown; 1980. Štefan Hauko.
Provenance: Unknown. FCC, 1945; on loan to the SAZU for the Academy’s rooms.
Exhibitions: 1983, Ljubljana, Nos. 39 and 40; 1989, Ljubljana, Nos. 16 and 17.
Lit.: Zeri [& Rozman] 1983, p. 124, Cat. Nos. 39 and 40, Fig. 36 and 37; Zeri and Rozman 1989, pp. 119–120, Cat. and Fig. Nos. 16 and 17.

From Mannerism to Baroque

Although imported early-Baroque works prevailed in this period and those by itinerant artists, the 17th century paved the way for the future. The political circumstances in the region were relatively stabilized in spite of the Thirty Year War and the patronage gradually grew stronger. The arrival of the Jesuits in Ljubljana, the activity of the polymath Johann Weichard Valvasor, particularly his graphic workshop at Bogenšperk/Wagensperg Castle, and the foundation of the Academia operosorum at the end of the century were the key events of the time. 

Characteristic of sculptural production on the Slovenian territory in the 17th century were the so-called “golden altars”. As a rule, these were gilded and polychrome carved wooden retables with rich ornamentation, first with crustaceous patterns which turned into vine and grapes that covered architectural framework until the achantus foliage took over and obliterated architectural structure completely. The making of golden altars included several branches of fine arts: prints, carving, gilding, painting. Religious painting of the first half of the century still contains Mannerist elements; in the second half also secular motifs became more numerous, particularly genre scenes and aristocratic portraits. The artworks mainly echo northern early-Baroque influences. 

Noteworthy among the newcomers who settled in Carniola with their workshops were the painter and gilder Hans Georg Geiger von Geigerfeld in the mid-century, who had moved to Carniola from the region of the Central Alps, and the Fleming Almanach in the third quarter of the 17th century, known only by his nickname, who worked here only for a few years. The extraordinary productivity and skills of the latter are evidenced by his rare surviving works, mentions in Valvasor’s books, and aristocratic probate inventories.