early 19th century
early 19th century
Mario Tavella,Tarsie di Giovanni Maffezzoli, in Antologia delle Belle Arti, 1998, page 166, fig. 4 .
Roberto Valeriani, Due Quadri Lignei di Giovanni Maffezzoli 1776-1818, Carlo Virgilio, Rome, 2005, p. 11, fig.6.
The panel inset on the present secrétaire belongs to a well known series depicting scenes from classical mythology and Greco-Roman history. All of them of similar size, were executed by the Cremonese, Giovanni Maffezzoli mostly between 1805 and 1816. Most of them are recorded in both public and private collections, although a few have been dispersed.
Maffezzoli produced more than one panel taking inspiration from the same subject matter. For example, a virtually identical panel (in its original frame) is recorded in a European private collection.
The cabinet-maker Giovanni Maffezzoli (1776-1818) was the most gifted pupil of the celebrated Royal ebanista Giuseppe Maggiolini (1738-1814), in whose workshop in Parabiago he commenced his apprenticeship in 1791, at the age of fifteen.
A group of furniture, some of which is signed and dated from 1795-1802, by the Cremonese inlayer and cabinet-maker, is in various Private collections in Cremona while other pieces previously in Palazzo Mina-Bolzesi in Cremona have been dispersed.
The quality of Maffezzoli's pictorial marquetry reached very high levels and some of the abovementioned panels presented in frames like paintings in wood, were awarded with medals in the exhibitions of the Arti e Mestieri organised by the Istituto Reale delle Scienze in Milan. He often took as his sources, the work of the painter Giusepepe Diotti (1779-1846), who upheld the classical concept of the supremacy of drawing as the foundation for the figurative arts.
The present scene illustrates General Focione,who refuses 100 talents offered by Alexander and in doing so, he indicates that his family are his most coveted treasure.
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