Monday, February 23, 2009

"Fantasie Macabres," Paolo Vincenzo Bonomini (1757-1839)

One wonderful artist I discovered in the recently gushed about book Death and Resurrection in Art (Guide to Imagery) is Paolo Vincenzo Bonomini, also known by the last name of Borromini. I have found precious little about the artist in English; the "translate" function applied to the Italian Wikipedia entry reveals (to the best of my deciphering...) that he was an Italian artist who decorated many civic and religious buildings and is best known for his "Fantasie Macabres," a series of scenes depicting living skeletons (see above), which was commissioned by a parish in Bergamo, his hometown. He produced 6 paintings as part of the series, many of them featuring recognizable caricatures of well-known townsfolk; another (guess which?) serves as a skeletal self-portrait. They are housed in the church of Santa Grata Inter Vites di Borgo Canale.

Top two photos found here. Bottom image found here.

Images, from top to bottom: Il pittore; Il tamburino della Cisalpina; Il carpentiere.


Anonymous said...

I will buy that book as soon as it is published... are the six Bonomini pictures reproduced in it?
Years ago I bought an old book on Lombardia just because it had four black and white repros from this series - the Painter, the Carpenter, a well dressed couple with little dog and a peasant couple.
The perspective at the bottom of the painter is very strange.....
Paul Rumsey

JE said...

Hey Paul

Only 2 are reproduced in the book--the self portrait, and I can't remember the other one (the book is at my office.) And yes, I think you'd really enjoy the book. Lots of surprises!