Francesco Zugno

(Venice 1708 - 1787 Venice)

Gathering of Manna, c. 1770

oil on canvas, 46,4 x 60 cm (18.27 x 23.62 inches)

  • Reference: 838
  • Provenance: Private collection

The lively composition is a skillful adaptation of one of Giambattista Tiepolo’s major altarpieces,
The Gathering of Manna (1000 x 525 cm.), executed ca. 1738 for the Basilica of Verolanuova, near Brescia.
The altarpiece is dominated by the colossal figure of Moses who stands on a ledge and calls down the miraculous manna from a celestial vision of angels.
Zugno, by contrast, chose to treat the subject as an opportunity to paint an appealing and atmospheric landscape.
There are numerous differences between this Gathering of Manna and the Verolanova altarpiece; indeed, it is all but certain that Zugno based his painting upon Tiepolo’s autograph modelletto, which is still preserved (91 x 76 cm., Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Artes), and not upon the altarpiece itself.
One sees in both of the smaller canvases the same trees at right, and tent at upper left, which have different forms in the altarpiece.
The graceful execution of this Gathering of Manna in Giambattista's characteristic style allow us to place this canvas amongst Zugno’s earliest works, prior to 1750.
This successful redaction of the Verolanuova modelletto shows all of Zugno's promise of a great career.

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