Dam­aged paint­ing ‘seems more like a Nuzzi’

The China Post - - LOCAL -

An Ital­ian pro­fes­sor of me­dieval art has sug­gested that a con­tro­ver­sial paint­ing on dis­play in Taipei had a style more typ­i­cal of Mario Nuzzi than his 17th cen­tury Ital­ian coun­ter­part Paolo Por­pora.

When asked by CNA for her opin­ion on the paint­ing of flow­ers in a vase, Ste­fa­nia Ma­cioce of Sapienza Univer­sity of Rome said the work showed the in­flu­ence of the Flem­ish paint­ing style, rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Nuzzi (1603-1673), rather than Por­pora’s more Baroque touch.

The paint­ing, iden­ti­fied at “The Face of Leonardo, Im­ages of a Ge­nius” ex­hi­bi­tion as “Flow­ers” by Paolo Por­pora (1617-1673), gained world­wide at­ten­tion af­ter a young boy tripped and ac­ci­dently punched a hole in it on Sun­day.

As the paint­ing was be­ing re­stored, ques­tions about the paint­ing’s ori­gins were raised when a pic­ture of it from a cat­a­logue of Ital­ian auc­tion house Casa d’Aste Della Rocca showed it as the work of Nuzzi.

The Ital­ian cu­ra­tor of the ex­hi­bi­tion An­drea Rossi said the auc­tion house had it wrong, but Ma­cioce and a pri­vate col­lec­tor in Napo­lis, Achille Della Ra­gione, are not so sure.

Both told CNA that it is not easy for the av­er­age art afi­cionado to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween the works of the two me­dieval artists, but peo­ple fa­mil­iar with artis­tic styles and art history should be able to iden­tify who ac­tu­ally painted “Flow­ers” af- ter study­ing it.

A pas­sion­ate col­lec­tor of 17th­cen­tury paint­ings by Naples artists and me­dieval still life paint­ings, Achille Della Ra­gione said that from a high-res­o­lu­tion photo of the paint­ing “Flow­ers,” he could iden­tify the brush­work and flower pos­ture of Nuzzi’s paint­ings.

He also noted that Por­pora was once a stu­dent of Nuzzi.

The or­ga­nizer of the Taipei ex­hi­bi­tion, TST Art of Dis­cov­ery Co., claimed af­ter the paint­ing was dam­aged that it was worth NT$50 mil­lion (ap­prox­i­mately US$1.55 mil­lion).

The Ital­ian auc­tion house, on the other hand, es­ti­mated its value at be­tween 25,000 and 30,000 eu­ros dur­ing two auc­tions in 2012.

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