Selected Inventory

Antonio Rasio

(Active in Brescia from 1677 to c. 1695)

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Antonio Rasio

Anthropomorphic Figure with Game, Charcuterie and Poultry

Oil on canvas, 116 x 94 cm

This astonishing still-life, a masterpiece of the Lombard Baroque, makes a very valuable addition to the small catalogue of works by the rare and mysterious painter Antonio Rasio. Here, Rasio presents us with a work which vividly shows the Baroque fascination with riddles, puzzles, and the bizarre, derived from the justly famous output of Giuseppe Arcimboldo whose composite heads captured the imagination of the Hapsburg court. Rasio is following in that immensely popular tradition of portraiture, but instead of fruit and flowers, has opted to compose an anthropomorphic figure that is the product of a brilliant assembly of pieces of meat, charcuterie, game and poultry. Looking at the picture in detail, we see how the man’s face is made up of an assortment of cuts of meat– some of it rolled up to form his eyes and cheeks – while a small chicken forms his nose and eyebrows, two thrushes, their stomachs plucked, suggest a chin, and his mouth consists of two pieces of liver. The idea of using a hare with its soft, thick fur to conjure up the image of a person’s hair or a warm winter hat is also extremely witty. Find out more in the catalogue below………



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