Giovanni Battista Beinaschi (Fossano, nr. Turin 1636-1688 Naples)
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Giovanni Battista Beinaschi (Fossano, nr. Turin 1636-1688 Naples)

The Martyrdom of Saint Peter

Details
Giovanni Battista Beinaschi (Fossano, nr. Turin 1636-1688 Naples)
The Martyrdom of Saint Peter
oil on canvas
114½ x 76 in. (290.8 x 193.1 cm.)
Provenance
with Simoni del Cava, until 1817, when acquired (Liechtenstein Ankaufsverzeichnis [acquisitions list], no. 99) by
Johann I Josef, Prince of Liechtenstein, Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf (1760-1836), and by descent in the Garden Palace at Rossau (where recorded by Falke in 1873 and 1885, loc. cit.); at Schloss Eisgrub, Lednice, Bohemia, from November 1942, until October 1944, when moved to Schloss Moosham, Unternberg, Lungau, until February 1945, when moved to Schloss Vaduz, Liechtenstein, until the present.
Literature
J. Falke, Katalog der Fürstlich Liechtensteinischen Bilder-Galerie im Gartenpalais der Rossau zu Wien, Vienna, 1873, p. 45, no. 371.
J. Falke, Katalog der fürstlich Liechtensteinischen Bilder-Galerie im Gartenpalais der Rossau zu Wien, Vienna, 1885, p. 7, no. 41.
A. Kronfeld, Führer durch die Fürstlich Liechtensteinsche Gemäldegalerie in Wien, Vienna, 1931, p. 16, no. 41.
Special notice

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Lot Essay

Hailing from Turin, where he began his training under the court painter Esprit Grandjean, Beinaschi had settled in Rome by 1652. He first found employ working for the engraver Pietro del Pò, for whom he made copies after Annibale Carracci's frescoes in the Galleria Farnese and Giovanni Lanfranco's work in San Andrea della Valle and San Carlo Catinari. The latter, in particular, was to have a profound influence on Beinaschi's style, and their works are often so close as to confuse scholars. In 1664, Beinaschi moved to Naples to work primarily in fresco on a number of decorative cycles for churches within the city, including San Nicola alla Dogana (1664; now destroyed); Santa Maria degli Angeli (1672-3); Santa Maria di Loreto; the Ges Nuovo and the Santa Maria la Nova (all 1670s).

We are grateful to Professor Nicola Spinosa for confirming the attribution of the present painting to Beinaschi on the basis of first-hand inspection, and dating it to circa 1660, during Beinaschi's stay in Rome. Prof. Spinosa compares it to a Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus in the Museo Diocesano in Salerno, and to an Incredulity of Saint Thomas in a private Italian collection. Already Beinaschi appears to surpass Lanfranco in the agitated drama of his figures, and it is easy to see how he fell under the influence of Mattia Preti in the second part of the 1670s.

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