Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, called il Grechetto / The Genius of Castiglione / ca. 1645-47, published 1648Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, called il Grechetto
The Genius of Castiglione
ca. 1645-47, published 1648

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Creator Name: Castiglione, Giovanni Benedetto
Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Italian
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Italian, 1609-1664
Creator Name-CRT: Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, called il Grechetto
Creator Name: Merwede, Matthys van de
Creator Nationality: European; Dutch
Creator Role: Dedicatee
Creator Dates/Places: Dutch, ca. 1625 - after 1677
Creator Name-CRT: dedicated to Matthys van de Merwede, Lord of Clootwyck
Creator Name: Rossi, Giovanni Jacopo (Giovanni Iacomo de Rubeis)
Creator Role: Publisher
Creator Dates/Places: Italian, 1638 - before 1692
Creator Name-CRT: Published by Giovanni Iacomo Rossi
Title: The Genius of Castiglione
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1645
Creation End Date: 1647
Creation Date: ca. 1645-47, published 1648
Object Type: Prints
Materials and Techniques: etching
Dimensions: 14 x 9 5/8 in. (35.5 x 24.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 17.50.17-36
Credit Line: Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1917

Castiglione made some sixty etchings, characterized by the lively handling and highly personal content present throughout his work. He was influenced by Anthony van Dyck, in whose studio he worked in Genoa, and later by the etchings of Rembrandt, just a few years his senior, working in Amsterdam. Castiglione etched this autobiographical image in Genoa and brought the plate to Rome in 1647; it was published in 1648. The seated young man holding a trumpet and a book represents Fame, also alluded to by the putto holding a trumpet and pointing to a laurel wreath. The rabbit and the basket with birds symbolize fruitfulness. The palette and brushes and the music on the ground refer to the arts, although their place on the ground and the crumpled state of the sheet of music suggest a pessimistic hint at the futlility of human accomplishment. Further, although the base supporting a bust is sculpted with laurel, it is overgrown with grass. 'The Genius of Castiglione' was dedicated to Matthys van de Merwede, Lord of Clootwyck, a Dutch nobleman and patron of the arts who lived in Italy from 1647 to 1650.

AMICA ID: MMA_.17.50.17-36
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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