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Franceso Castiglione
Genoa, Italy, 1641-1710
Jacob Asking for Laban
Oil on canvas.
This painting was long attributed the Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, the most original and influential master of the Baroque in Genoa. The subject, one of the journeys of the Patriarchs, and the genre motifs are perfectly consistent with his style. The composition, however, lacks movement. The narrative is osbscure. It probably represents Jacob’s arrival at the well in Haran, where he had come to find his uncle, Laban (Genesis 29:1-13) – and the finish is indiscriminately high. Such self-conscious and piecemeal recreation is characteristic of Giovanni Benedetto’s son, Francesco, whom Soprani, the biographer of the Genoese painters, called his “exact imitator.”