Deposition of Christ by Pietro Vanni

Deposition of Christ by Pietro Vanni
Oil painting on canvas
Pietro Vanni
cm. 210 x 85


Christ‘s body is shown on a raised plane partially covered by a white cloth and with a vase at his feet. The dark background makes the body of Christ stand out giving it major plasticity and brightness.

The work is dated and signed “PIETRO VANNI ROMA ’76”

The painting was donated to the Cathedral of Viterbo by the Ascenzi family. Scriattoli mentions it as one of the first works by the artist to contain elements of realism, later seen in his portraits.

Pietro Vanni was born in Viterbo in 1845 and studied in Siena where he was a student of Senese painter A. Franchi of Prato who helped shape his pictorial sense. Returning to Viterbo he fought with his father who wanted him to work in industry. He took refuge in music which he then left to travel to Florence and then Rome, enriching his cultural and artistic life. His first pictorial work was the “Holy Family“ in 1872 where the melancholy character of his art was accentuated and later transformed into a veiled calm. Later religious paintings show his desire to create works that mirrored his beliefs and aspirations towards truth and beauty. He usually painted rapidly and precisely and the colors used on the canvas show his love for a more than natural art. He died in Rome in 1905.



– T. FIORE, Pietro Vanni, vita ed arte del pittore viterbese, Maddaloni 1925.
– P. GAVINO, Pietro Vanni 1845- 1905, Catalogo mostra, Roma 1979.
– A. SCRIATTOLI, Viterbo nei suoi monumenti, Roma 1915-20, pp. 229-30.
– R. SCIPIO, Pietro Vanni pittore viterbese, Viterbo 1981.

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