The work of Viterbese painter Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, known as Bartolomeo de’Cescenzi (the Roman family who protected him) shows a Madonna with Child in the classic style without any idealization or symbolism. The Madonna with Child is set in a natural environment: the dark Caravaggio style background exalts the naturalness of the two figures set in the foreground looking out at the spectator and illuminated by a light from the upper left corner. The drapery of the Virgin is shown in every detail giving volume to the figure. In the upper right hand corner is a hut with lighted window and a mountain. Cavarozzi emulated Caravaggio with such ability that some of their works can be confused. The style of his later years shows influences from his voyages. He worked with great fortune in Spain between 1617 and 1619 and became one of the artists who inspired works of Zurbaràn and Murillo. Some of Cavarozzi’s works can be seen at the Prado in Madrid.
This work comes from Sant’Ignazio, Viterbo where it was on the main altar. Cesare Pinzi erroneously attributes it to Filippo Caparozzi, while critics Gaetano Coretini and Italo Faldi attribute it to Bartolomeo Cavarozzi. Keep in mind that F. Zero dates the “Madonna Spada” between 1624 and 1625 and the “Madonna del Seminario” (which could be identified with this work) done a few years earlier. Some works by Cavarozzi are visible at the Prado in Madrid.
– M. GALEOTTI, L’Illustrissima città di Viterbo, Viterbo, 2006.
– I. FALDI, Pittori Viterbesi di cinque secoli, Roma, 1970.
– “Bartolomeo Cavarozzi: Sacre Famiglie a confronto”, a cura di Daniele Sanguineti, catalogo della mostra, Milano 2005.
– G. SIGNORELLI, I più antichi pittori viterbesi, in Bollettino municipale,Viterbo, 1934.
– F. ZERI, La mostra della pittura viterbese, in Bollettino d’Arte, Viterbo, 1955.
– G.PAPI, Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, Soncino (CR), 2015