AN EARLY PAINTING BY FELICE GIANI: THE TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTHONY THE ABBOT
Our unpublished painting depicts the same subject as another oil painting by Giani, published in 1979, originally in the collection of Pico Cellini (1903-2000).
The published work, also unsigned, is smaller in size and painted in a sketchy manner. It lacks details that appear in our painting, such as the playing cards and the bag of coins in the foreground on the right.
Anna Ottani Cavina clearly highlighted the surreal and grotesque elements of the published painting, which demonstrates Giani's peculiar disposition towards the bizarre and the fantastic. She also identified the 17th-century Dutch sources for the subject, most notably the numerous Temptations of Saint Anthony painted by David Teniers the Younger.
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Felice Giani (1758 - 1823), Temptation of St. Anthony the Abbot, oil on canvas