BETWEEN BOLOGNA AND KRAKOW: THE LIFE AND WORK OF THE ITALIAN PAINTER INNOCENZO MONTI (1653-1710)
The obscure Italian painter Innocenzo Monti (1653-1710) worked on the territory of several European states. In this study, Innocenzo Monti and his work are treated in the context of the Bologna school of painting of the second half of the 'seicento' and the workshop of Carlo Cignani, where Monti trained as a painter. The text considers the painter's artwork in his native Emilia, in particular Monti's large canvas for the Gesu Church in Mirandola. Duke Francesco d'Este later tried to acquire the painting for his collections in Modena. The text touches on Monti's relationship with his older colleague from Cignani's workshop, Marcantonio Franceschini; in this context, it suggests a possible answer to the question of why the painter went beyond the Alps to work for Gottfried Count Dietrichstein and the Liechtenstein family. The painter's work in Poland and Moravia is closely tied to that of the sculptor and stucco worker Baldassarro Fontana. Monti and Fontana decorated the university Church of St Anne in Krakow and the Church of the Clare Nuns at St Andrew. Their collaboration culminated in the decoration of the Premonstratensian library at Klásterni Hradisko near Olomouc, where both Italian artists left their signatures. Another joint commission in Moravia was the painting and stucco work in the refectory of the Franciscan monastery at Uherské Hradiste, where a group of four canvases depicting Franciscan saints has been preserved. The composition of the painting of St Anthony of Padua resembles that of a painting by Monti on the same theme in the Galleria Davia Bargellini in Bologna. In a broader context, the text also treats the issue of the fluctuating quality of Monti's painting output.
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