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Simone Cantarini

(known as il Pesarese, 1612 Pesaro – 1648 Verona)

Rest on the Flight into Egypt. Etching. 8 x 12.4 cm. Bartsch 7.

Simone Cantarini is indubitably one of the most significant and independently minded Italian painter-etchers of the first half of the Seicento. The bulk of his printed oeuvre consists of religious subjects, one of which is the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, to which the artist devoted great attention. The present version, together with the etching Bartsch 8 of almost identical size, is one of the most intimate and concentrated interpretations of this theme. The small-sized work with its light and ethereal strokes highlights all Cantarini’s outstanding skills as an etcher. He uses stage biting to great effect here, producing subtle transitions and contrasts between light and dark. The intimacy and simplicity of his style enable him to transpose the divine event to the level of everyday reality; it is precisely this quiet reverence and modesty which make the little etching a genuine work of art. A superb, distinctive impression with margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in excellent condition.

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