St. Anthony


Simone Cantarini (1612-1648), St. Anthony of Padua Adoring the Christ Child, c. 1640, etching. References: Bartsch 25, Bellini 26, first state (of 3).  In good condition with thread margins apart from small stain middle left and backed to a tissue, (possible) repaired tear bottom right corner, on laid paper with an unidentifiable watermark, 10 1/4 x 7 inches, archival mounting (acid free hinging and backing mat, window mat).

A fine clear and strong early impression.

Provenance: ex Collection Emiliano Sorini, with stamp verso (not in Lugt).

In our early lifetime impression the bottom margin is still blank; in the second state the name of the artist is added (Simone Cantarini Fe originale); in the third state the name of the publisher is added (Gio Giacomo Rossi formis Romae alle Pace).

Simone Cantarini was strongly influenced by Guido Reni, whose large painting of the Madonna and Child was installed in a church in Cantarini’s home town when Cantarini was a teenager. A few years later in about 1635 Cantarini traveled to Bologna where he became part of the Reni’s studio, working closely for a few years with Reni. But Cantarini was bad tempered, and resented Reni’s attempts to exploit him to make etchings after Reni paintings; in addition, he hated having his work passed off as Reni’s. After a violent break with Reni in 1637 he went out on his own.

Cantarini died at the early age of 36, after having made some 37 etchings.  Unlike other artists of the time better known for their paintings than their graphic work, Cantarini is known today as a masterful etcher; he has received great praise from art critics of the period for his bold, free-spirited touch.