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Permanent Collection

Giovanni Stefano Danedi - 1600–1700

(Treviglio, 1618? − Milan?, 1690)

Giovanni Stefano Danedi (Daneda, Doneda, Donedi) was born 1618 (?) in Treviglio and died 1690 in Milan (?). Like his brother Giuseppe he studied with Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, called il Morazzone, whose compositional models and expressive style he adopted. He settled in Milan, where he collaborated with his brother and Odoardo Ricci on the frescoes in the Milanese churches of San Girolamo and San Giovanni in Conca (all destroyed). Danedi’s works have survived in the churches of San Sebastiano, San Giorgio al Palazzo, Santa Maria Podone, the Basilica di San Stefano, in private and public collections in Milan, in the cathedral in Monza, in the Carthusian monastery in Pavia and elsewhere.

Lit.: Marco Bona Castellotti, La pittura lombarda del'600, Milano 1985, p. 665, figg. 231-246; Luisa Bandera Gregori, I Montalto: Pittori trevigliesi del '600, Museo Civico, Treviglio 1985; Pietro Tirloni, I Danedi detti Montalto, Pittori Bergamaschi dal XIII al XIX secolo: Il Seicento, III, Bergamo 1985; Pittura tra Adda e Serio: Lodi, Treviglio, Caravaggio, Crema, I centri della pittura lombarda, Cassa di risparmio delle provincie lombarde, Editor Mina Gregori, Milano 1987, pp. 172-174, figg. 79-85 (Text: Luisa Bandera); Seicento, Vol. I, Milano 1989 (Text: Giulio Bora, Valerio Guazzoni, Luisa Bandera).

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.