The new attribution of a painting at Brera to Giovanni Baglione, after painstaking restoration work.
[Unseen Brera / Painting and the Counter-Reformation: The Virgin between the Saints Peter and Paul, a sacred hieroglyphic and a problem of attribution] The Museum of Brera offers a small, precious contribution to art history: a public view of a work from its storerooms recently attributed to Giovanni Baglione.
The work was part of the artistic heritage of the church of San Paolo in Cremona, and was acquired by Brera in the early 1900s.The Virgin between the Saints Peter and Paul had always been considered a work of Giovanni Battista Tortiroli. But a lengthy, painstaking restoration has revealed its exceptional quality, leading the expert Emanuela Daffra to advance the idea that the painting was actually made by Baglione (1566-1644), the famous Roman painter who was Caravaggio’s adversary at the famous trial in 1603.
The author indicates the date of the painting as approximately 1603 as well. The work shows the Virgin rising against a landscape populated by her symbols from the litanies (hieroglyphs). An exemplary interpretation of religious imagery, a concrete aid to the prayers of the faithful as prescribed by the doctrine of the Counter-Reformation.