The style and overall type of the painting point to its likely execution in Genoa during the 1630-40s. The work can be compared closely on stylistic and compositional grounds to treatments of the subject by other Genoese masters, notably a work by Gioacchino Assereto today in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille,1 and a painting by Giovanni Battista Carlone, recorded as in a private collection.2
Although the precise identity of the author has yet to be satisfactorily resolved, a plausible attribution to Luca Saltarello (Genoa 1610 - circa 1640 Rome) has been proposed. Only one securely documented work by the artist is known however, a large altarpiece representing Saint Benedict Reviving a Fallen Worker, which was painted for the Chiesa di Santo Stefano in Genoa in 1632.3 A comparison between the altarpiece and the present work reveals a similar spirit and vigour to the brushwork, a comparable treatment of light and a similar characterisation of the figures, notably in the definition of their faces and highly expressive hands.
1 See Kunst in der Republik Genua 1528 - 1815, exhibition catalogue, Frankfurt, Kunsthalle, 5 September - 8 November 1992, p. 81, cat. no. 20, reproduced plate 21.
2 See ibid., p. 119, no. 52.1, reproduced.
3. See P. Pagano & M. Clelia Galassi, La pittura del '600 a Genova, Milan 1988, no. 514, reproduced.
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