L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Fall of the Rebel Angels, by Luca Giordano, circa 1660-65

A delightful, ridiculously dramatic painting, full of delicious color and brushwork, the passages of black-shadowed chiaroscuro and vivid flesh - the contrast between the rebels angel's rough, sun-reddened faces and hands and their silvery white bellies is a quite realistic portrayal of the bodies of the artist's workmen models - show the strong influence of Giordano's master, Ribera.


Luca Giordano (18 October 1634, Naples – 12 January 1705, Naples), Italian Baroque painter. The son of a painter, at about the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to José de Ribera, who would have much influence on his early work. (As here.) Prolific, extremely versatile, and successful, Giordano worked in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain at the court of Charles II. After his return to Naples, his later work became lighter, both visually and psychologically, and prefigures Rococo. With his success, he gave generously to charitable causes, showing particular concern for impoverished artists.


  1. I am particularly struck by how serene the triumphant angel is, considering that he's about just then, stepping on the neck of one of his former colleague angels. And if those putti don't get on a diet plan they're going to end up with childhood onset diabetes, forever. Snarkiness aside, this is a masterful work, and the composition is complex and keeps drawing you further in.


  2. Oddly erotic and also nightmarish at the same time -really unusual when you look at the details.