FELICE GIANI (San Sebastiano Curone, 1758 - Rome, 1823)
St. Floriano, accompanied by St. Petronio, Interceding with the Virgin for the Cessation of the Plague in Bologna
Giani's composition betrays a Baroque approach: see for example, in the superb foreground, the expanse of plague victims in a violent clash of light and shadow reflecting the iconographic models of the 17th century, starting with Mattia Preti. In the upper part of the canvas, on the other hand, the luminous, sunny palette points to Giani's formative years in the Gandolfis' circle in Bologna. Thus we may date this small painting (possibly an ex voto) to the 1790s. Far from being a preparatory work for a more demanding picture, like almost all of Giani's smaller pictures it was intended for a tight circle of friends and connoisseurs.