loading page

Loading the page ...

Lazzaro Tavarone

(1556–1641, Genoa)

Descent from the Cross. Pen and brown ink over a light chalk drawing, brown wash. 30.3 x 24.2 cm.

This highly impressive, powerful and unerringly executed drawing shows Tavarone at the height of his artistic powers. A native of Genoa, Lazzaro was taught by Luca Cambiaso and in 1583 followed his mentor to Spain, where Cambiaso had been appointed to the court of Philipp II. After the death of his teacher in 1585 Tavarone remained in Spain for quite some time before returning to Genoa in 1596 at the latest. In the course of his productive career Tavarone developed into a respected and much sought-after painter of frescoes and series of deco­rative scenery.

The present Descent from the Cross is notable for its disciplined draughtsmanship and the geometrical rigour of the layout. In this respect Tavarone was a worthy successor to his teacher Cambiaso. The towering cross with the dead body of Christ dominates the picture, while the ladders, seen from different angles, give the composition an invigorating rhythm. The various activities of the individual protagonists have been observed with great sensitivity. The distribution of the light is equally accomplished and effective. The fluid, sweeping washes have been applied deftly and seemingly effortlessly, and the shrewd use of the white paper tone has enabled the artist to create a very telling chiaroscuro effect. The whole is filled with a great inner energy and religious pathos, making it highly reminiscent of Rosso Fiorentino’s famous Deposition from the Cross of 1521 (Volterra, Pinacoteca Civica).

Contact us for further information