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  • NameCecco del Caravaggio
  • Activity/Titlepainter
  • Sexmale
  • Variant namesstavningsvariant: Francesco Boneri
    egentlig namnform: Francesco Buoneri
  • Nationality/DatesItalian, active during första hälften av 1600-talet
BiographyA breakthrough in research concerning the rare
but distinctive Caravaggesque artist known as
Cecco del Caravaggio was John Gash’s identification
of him with the boy called Cecco (short for
Francesco) who apparently lived with Caravaggio
and modelled for many of his most celebrated
paintings. Gianni Papi has found that Cecco del
Caravaggio’s real name was Francesco Boneri. Before
this, the oeuvre of this artist had begun to be
defined by Roberto Longhi on the basis of stylistic
comparisons of paintings attributed to Cecco
with the Expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple
in the Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie,
Berlin, which is considered certain due to its listing
and attribution to Cecco in the inventory of
the Giustiniani Collection. Longhi was convinced
that Cecco was in fact French, since his name is
found amongst the predominantly French artists
who assisted Agostino Tassi in decorating the
Villa Lante, Bagnaia. Cecco was among the first
generation of Caravaggesque artists, which also
included Carlo Saraceni (1579–1620), Juan Bautista
Maíno (c. 1578–1649) and Orazio Gentileschi
(1563–1639), all active as early as the first decade of
the 1600s. These artists were influenced more by
Caravaggio’s clean and forceful early style than by
the heavy, dark and shadowy compositions of his
later period. Cecco’s style in particular is characterized
by a highly defined and clear rendering of
forms, which are often outlined by conspicuous,
almost pen-like, dark brushstrokes. In fact, these
“clearly etched” outlines are used to great effect,
contrasted against the naturalistic rendering of
the chiaroscuro lighting of the compositions.
The Penitent Magdalen