Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Jacopo Bassano del Grappa (1510-1592) also known as Jacopo da Ponte, painted this picture in 1542. Bassano started painting in the workshop of his father and then launched himself in the painting of a large variety of religious scenes. After 1560 he devoted his talent to pastural scenes that made him quite famous in Italy. Bassano specialized in the production of Biblical, pastoral scenes featuring peasants and animals. His paintings were admired for their richness of color and complex designs.

Influenced by Tintoretto and Titian, he established a workshop in Bassano with his four sons: Francesco the Younger (1549–1592), Girolamo (1566–1621), Giovanni Battista (1553–1613), and Leandro (1557–1622). They shared his style, and some works are difficult to attribute precisely.

In 1969 the infamous Norton Simon -who had once caused enormous trouble in a sale at Christie's - bought the painting for $ 655,200. It is still in the Norton Simon Art Foundation in Pasadena, Calif. The huge price paid by Simon underlined then a growing tendency that works of impeccable beauty, preservation and authenticity did not have to be by the biggest names like Rubens and Titian to fetch high prices.

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