Valerio Castello

The Flight into Egypt

Auction Closed

January 27, 05:11 PM GMT


150,000 - 200,000 USD

Lot Details


Valerio Castello

Genoa 1624 - 1659

The Flight into Egypt

oil on canvas, unlined

canvas: 58 1/4 by 67 3/4 in.; 146.2 by 171.9 cm.

framed: 68 by 77 1/4 in.; 172.7 by 196.2 cm.



1624 - 1659年,熱那亞



畫布:58 1/4 x 67 3/4 英寸;146.2 x 171.9 公分

連框:68 x 77 1/4 英寸;172.7 x 196.2 公分

The Barons Ajroldi di Robbiate, Lombardy;
Thence by descent to General Baron Luigi Ajroldi di Robbiate (1868-1937);
Private collection, Germany;
Anonymous sale, Vienna, Dorotheum, 13 April 2011, lot 456;
There acquired by the present owner.

This large canvas, one of Valerio Castello’s most dramatic and emotive depictions of the Flight into Egypt, was painted while the Genoese artist was at the peak of his career. The deep color palette, energetic brushwork, and rhythmic movement used to depict the procession of the Holy Family and the gesticulating angels who follow them, display the increasing influence that the works of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck exerted upon Castello during the last decade of his life.

Born in Genoa, Castello trained in the workshops of Domenico Fiasella and Giovanni Andrea de’Ferrari before traveling to Milan and Parma, where he was inspired by the works of Correggio and Parmigianino. But it was when he returned to his hometown and encountered paintings by Van Dyck that his inventive style was born. Assimilating influences from Parma, the Milanese School, and the colony of northern painters that contributed to the flourishing artistic life in Genoa during the mid-seventeenth century, Castello secured a reputation as of one of the most original Genoese artists of the period.

Castello executed two compositions of the Flight into Egypt, one of horizontal orientation, exemplified by the present work, and one of vertical orientation. The vertical composition has been dated to the mid-1640s by Camillo Manzitti, and there are two extant versions of it. 1 Manzitti has dated the present painting to the middle of the following decade and, aside from this canvas, there is a bozzetto of the horizontal format that was formerly in the collection of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and is now in a private Genoese collection.2 

1 One is in the Palazzo Bianco, Genoa and another is in a private collection in the same city. C. Manzitti, Valerio Castello, Turin, 2004, pp. 170-171, cat nos. 170 and 171.

2 Manzitti 2004, pp. 171-172, cat no. 172.