FRANCESCO DA CASTELLO (Frans van de Casteele) attr. Brussels c.1541 – Rome 1621, Salvator Mundi, gouache and gold on vellum, Rome c. 1590. 207 X 160 mm
€ 7500

A mannerist illuminated devotional picture of Christ as the Saviour of the World with an orb, sitting in front of a landscape with Golgata and Jerusalem and a dramatic sky, within a framework including the Arma Christi and the personifications of Justitia and Caritas.
Derived from a very popular genre of late gothic devotional pictures this painting reflects the tradition from Joos van Cleve’s Salvator Mundi at The Louvre (RF 187).
The general style and the frame show influences from the illuminated choirbooks from the Sistine Chapel, especially those illuminated by Apollonio de’ Bonfratelli.
A vellum miniature slightly smaller than ours of almost exactly the same layout including Caritas and Iustitia was sold at Goya Subastas in Madrid Dec 18, 2019, Lot 20. This is undoubtedly a work by the same artist.
Another vellum miniature at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 26.13. after Bartholomeus Spranger’s painting (Montauban, Musée Ingres-Bourdelle) displays a very similar face and technique, and was probably also painted by the same artist, as was the Virgin and child sold by Sotheby’s July 3, 2018, lot 6.
In comparison to large scale paintings, the altarpiece in San Lorenzo in Spello, signed and dated by Castello in 1599, and the painting The Pardon of Assisi, signed and dated 1595 (Velletri, Museo diocesano), display similar Christ figures.
In comparison with graphical works, there are parallells by Hieronymus and Johannes Wierix.
A later frame of Flemish renaissance type.


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