Filippo Pedrini - San Pelegrino Laziosi
(Bologna 1763 – 1856)
Cristo appare a san Pellegrino Laziosi
Oil on canvas, 70 x 48 cm
Provenance: Private collection, USA
This captivating oil painting depicts the very moment in which Pellegrino Laziosi was healed by a vision of Christ in his dream. It is a depiction of a tale filled with hope and positivity. Pellegrino Laziosi is a patron saint for people suffering from cancer, AIDS, and other life-threatening illnesses
The painting has been studied by Professor Biagi and the painting is accompanied by a written expertise. Professor Biagi writes;
“This work, with a robust structure and exquisite pictorial rendering, qualifies as a certain proof of the talent and cultivated skill of a young Bolognese artist, Filippo Pedrini, an excellent representative of the latest generation of painters of the Clementine Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. of the Institute of Sciences of Bologna (1).
Initiated to painting by his father Domenico, a vaglia painter, he shared the training course with his friends Mauro Gandolfi, also a son of art - of the famous and celebrated painter Gaetano -, and Pietro Fancelli, also an established artist since the eighties from the eighteenth century and guaranteed in the Academy by his parent Petronius; like them, but with different verve, he juggled between respect for tradition and the right outbursts of rebellion against the teachings that appeared not in line with the evolution of international artistic culture, which can be compared in the Academy in the debates between masters and shrewd collectors, in the teachings of best (Gandolfi sr in primis), through the exchange of knowledge with the many artists and connoisseurs visiting Bologna. He was initiated into painting by his father, whose manner combined the study of the models of the great local seventeenth century and the fascination for Venetian art, which he met during stays abroad (2), who at a mature age proposed himself as the continuer of the solid and grandiose style by Ubaldo Gandolfi, one of the protagonists of Italian painting since the sixties of the century; the son chose to rather approach the very modern painting of Gaetano Gandolfi, brother of the artist just mentioned, who from the seventies of the century was able to embody the newest and most modern of contemporary painting, in whose evolution he participated.
The first tests of the young Filippo, enrolled by his good father at the Clementina not yet fifteen, are the drawings awarded at the academic competitions in the years between 1782 and 1787, kept at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, the last of which is really nice testimony of frankness in studying from life; on the other hand, Pedrini jr had already given excellent proof of himself by painting two fake monochrome statues on the wall in the church of San Bartolomeo (3), in a beautiful and casual manner, evidently indebted to the ways of the artist he elected master, Gaetano Gandolfi. This will be the case in numerous other tests, in which ours adopts the ascending scan by oblique lines as in the sketch for an altarpiece not yet recognized with the Madonna and Child, St. John the Baptist and other saints, originally attributed to Gandolfi (4) as the delightful Madonna with Bambino and San Giovannino formerly from the Ceschi (5) collection, a painting prepared for private devotion which attests to the young artist's ability - the work was dated to the early 1980s - to orient himself among the different addresses offered by the school and the more intimate suggestions feel from his warm and passionate temperament of the master's painting. Nearly the Maddalena already from the Cera collection, also exhibited at the great Bolognese exhibition of 1979 which also made known the sketch with Apollo and the preparatory Hours for the fresco painted in Palazzo Hercolani in Bologna, one of the most important late commissions century, one of the many wall paintings that were requested from the excellent Pedrini, who was active both for the clergy, the Bolognese nobility and therefore the pro-French government (6).
The artist is in fact known above all for his activity in this field, but his profane and sacred production cannot be underestimated. Paintings of exquisite handwriting such as the two mythological scenes (Venus and Vulcan, Triumph of Minerva, also believed to be by Gandolfi and returned to Filippo by the writer7) of ineffable grace, sophisticated and brilliant in the choice of bringing out the sensuous forms of the characters from the shady background, with an outcome of fragrant beauty: a modus operandi that we also find in the painting in question, which sees the scene of the apparition of the Crucifix to the saint set according to a trend again by opposing diagonals, and clearly distinguishes the ground from the supernal through the wise and blurred contrast between the luminous space of the shining sky and the dark tone of the shaded area on which the patient lies.
And what a splendid apparition, that of the angel who supports the saint with the seriously ill leg: cloaked in light, he is the most Gandolfian one can, in the rendering of the gentle face, of the beautiful wing, the robe lit in a yellow Tiepolo, stylistic features which refer to Pedrini's admiration for the art of the master, to whom he stands out, for just autonomy, in the description of the putti, whose profiles, the softness of the flesh are similar to the many little angels and cupids of his best works.
Finally, the freshness of the drafting is dazzling, with light touches, at the tip of the brush, light and fragrant and rich in matter as in his most polite works, the mythological scenes mentioned above, the sketches for the frescoes carried out by the eighteenth century - this canvas is from tracing back by chronology to the ninth decade of the century - before the choice to approach the fashion of the moment, the neoclassical painting favored by many, restrained his spirit, the feeling of beauty and grace that characterizes eighteenth-century paintings.
In the nineteenth century of Giani and Palagi our Filippo Pedrini will become a supporting actor, and his poetic vein will wither, leading him to perform tired and poorly inspired works. But this is another story. ”