Biagio Betti
(1535 - 1605)

Jesus tried before the Sanhedrin

Oil painting on canvas
66 x106 cm

Without frame.
Biagio Betti, pupil of Daniele Da Volterra, lay friar of the Theatine order. An eclectic character, he was in contact with the Roman artistic world but also beyond the Alps. He became acquainted with Durer's engravings by which he was influenced in his compositions. Stylistically it represents a late Roman mannerism of the last part of the 16th century.
ASOR Studio

Expertise by Professor Claudio Strinati
Biagio Betti (Cutigliano 1545 ca. - Rome 1615) Jesus interrogated in the Sanhedrin (oil on canvas 64 x 104 cm)

The painting represents the crucial moment in the history of the Passion of Christ when the Redeemer is brought, after the Capture in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the Sanhedrin, i.e. the Jewish Tribunal administered by the Sadducees and Pharisees to be interrogated about his alleged sins and subsequently condemned even if the actual sentence was pronounced by Pilate.

The scene is executed, in our painting, with remarkable skill and pictorial refinement with an impeccable and rigorous style in the perspective definition and rather synthetic and compendium of the figures, as if the author of the work was primarily a specialized miniaturist capable of pouring all his doctrine into the analytical definition of the images, accentuating the different states of mind, from the painful sadness of Christ to the bureaucratic arrogance of the great priests who appear very numerous in the painting and were in fact, according to ancient sources, around seventy and all very fierce.

Our painting, precisely for strictly stylistic reasons, seems to be dated to the end of the sixteenth century and to be placed precisely in that milieu of illumination culture which included notable Italian and Flemish exponents of that time. Among these stands out a painter who was also an eminent religious man, the Theatine father Biagio Betti of whom Giovanni Baglione wrote an exhaustive and learned biography, qualifying him as a cultured, authoritative personality, very influential in the debate on religious art and a skilled painter, sculptor and miniaturist. himself.

In this biography (published in his book Le Vite de' pittori, scultori e architecti, Roma

1642 (now in the modern edition edited by Barbara Agosti and Patrizia Tosini, Officina

Libraria 2023, vol 1, p.632 ff.) the theological and primarily doctrinal intent of the works executed by the Theatine painter is evident, but with formidable attention

to the intrinsic quality of the paintings and the iconographic originality of the works cited by

Baglione few survive today, but enough to attribute the painting to Biagio Betti

here. in question. In fact, in the church of San Silvestro al Quirinale in Rome there is a large canvas, certainly autographed by this artist, depicting the Dispute of Jesus with the Doctors (similar topic, although different, to that of the work here

which, unlike our painting, is a real altarpiece exemplified, from an iconographic point of view, on Dürer's prints which are much studied and known throughout the world. time of Betti. And the setting of our painting is similar and can therefore be attributed to

Betti with foundation also through a direct comparison with the aforementioned Dispute which denotes a similar "Nordic" style even if on a monumental scale, while our The painting is, as has been noted, absolutely illuminatory. Moreover, Baglione clearly says that the painter Biagio Betti "was equally a miniaturist, both in parchment paper and in everything else, exquisitely colourful". This seems to be the case with our painting, a very notable example of a miniature painting of great intrinsic significance and fine quality of drafting, still clearly perceptible today despite some conservation problems that the work must have had but which do not affect its appreciation in the slightest. and the consequent critical judgement.

I believe it possible that this painting of ours was executed in conjunction with the jubilee celebrations of the year 1600 when Father Biagio Betti was at the height of his parable and his notoriety as an authoritative miniaturist and painter.

A painting, therefore, remarkable on a historical-artistic level and also on a doctrinal level, to which I attribute a conspicuous value of E. 25,000.00

In faith,</p >

Claudio Strinati

€ 4.300,00
Starting price
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