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Fortunato Duranti, the Magi and the Holy Family

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FORTUNATO DURANTI (Montefortino Marche 1787 - 1863) THE WISE MEN BEAR GIFTS TO THE HOLY FAMILY
Pen and brown ink, over traces in black chalk, touched with blue watercolor. 585 x 445 mm. On the verso a light sketch in black chalk of the Virgin with the Child and Saints.
As usual Duranti takes his inspiration from the old masters' repertoire, but with a personal interpretation. In this large drawing he merges together the themes of the Adoration of the Magi and of the Rest on the Flight into Egypt.

Born and grown up in a small town of the Marches, Duranti studied in Rome, where befriended Tommaso Minardi and was influenced also by Giani and Camuccini. In addition to being an artist, Duranti was a collector and an antique dealer. His life was plagued by both actual and imagined catastrophes. After 1840 he lived in seclusion and poverty in Montefortino, tortured by ill health and his fevered phantasms. Looking toward art of the past, Duranti almost exclusively produced drawings of his inward visions. He reacted against the formalism of Neoclassicism with a simplified and geometrical style of drawing which owes a debt to Lomazzo and Cambiaso. Despite all of these backward glances, Duranti’s art pointed to the future. For his stylistic singularity and subjectivity, Duranti is a very 'modern' artist.

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