signed A Landini l.l.
oil on canvas
Intimate scenes of cardinals and priests have long held a fascination for collectors. Andrea Landini, one of the most popular painters of this genre, is celebrated for his meticulous detail in rendering rich fabrics and his humorous depictions of men of the cloth. The underlying anti-clerical themes appealed to the prevailing political mood of the time, representing noble dignitaries in acts of banality or frivolity. The voyeuristic glimpse of such domestic scenes delighted the nineteenth century audience whose view of the Catholic church was shrouded in secrecy and intrigue. The most successful painters of this genre were masters of innuendo, hinting at underlying truths. Pleasures such as chess, as in the present work, in luxurious surroundings decorated with paintings of a lascivious nature gently poke fun at the pomposity of some members of the Church.
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