Verona 1570 — 1644 Corinaldo
Holy Family and Saint in Joseph's Workshop with God the Father Surrounded by Putti
traces of black chalk underdrawing, red bol preparation, grisaille in oil, on two pieces of attached paper. 27 x16" (686 x 406 mm). laid down.
Ridolfi, a pupil of Veronese who could not find work in Venice, went to Rome and Urbino where he came under the influence of Barocci. Indeed, despite his already considerably developed talents, the younger artist became an assistant to that master, so enamoured was he. Later, Ridolfi found work decorating several churches in Urbino as well as executing religious commissions in Rimini and Corinaldo.
A painting of the Birth of Maria, presently in the Brera, has much in common with our grisaille both in figure types and compositional devices employed. The Birth of Maria is also an interior scene in which a window view reveals a cityscape. This picture was commissioned by the church of S. Maria della Bella in Urbino around 1631. A Portrait of Federico Ubaldo delle Rovere depicts its young subject with a hawk on his hand and a dog at his feet and a cityscape seen through a windo behind him.1 Clearly this was a preferred compositional devise of the artist.
The present work, despite its Baroccesque elements, is a work of the artist's maturity. The attribution to Ridolfi was made some years ago by Hélène Sueur.
During the summer of 1994, the first major exhibition devoted to the artist was held in several cities of the Marches. It was accompanied by an exhibition catalogue: C. Costanzi and M. Massa, Claudio Ridolfi, un Pittore Veneto nelle Marche del ‘600, Ancona, 1994.
Caterina Caneva, Il Corridoio Vasariano agli Uffizi, Banca Toscana, 2002, p.241, #7.