Maganza workshop

Among 1500 and 1600, that of Maganza is the most creative pictoric workshop in Vicenza, whose artworks - realized in Counter-riformistic way - are present almost in all the religious buildings of Vicenza.
The founder of the family Giambattista Maganza il Vecchio (named Magagnò), was born in Calaone (Este) around 1509. Grown in the circle of Alvise Cornaro, he was painter and poet. Member of the Olimpica Academy, he conceived the customs for Edipo King, the first opera represented in the Olimpico Theater. He painted the destroyed frescoes in villa Repeta in Campiglia dei Berici and maybe partially of his hand were those that adorn villa Eolia in Costozza. Eclectic artist - sensitive to the influence of Veronese, of Tintoretto and of Bassano - Giambattista dies in 1586.
Alessandro, his son, was born in Vicenza in 1556. Grown in the fatherly shop, he was some years in Venice, where seems to appreciate above all the opera of Palma il Giovane. From 1580 he works almost exclusively in Vicenza, realizing (often with the collaboration of the other workshop artists) a great number of paintings for churches of the city and of the territory. We must remember, above all, the five episodes of the Passion of Christ (Cathedral of Vicenza) and the cycle for the Chapel of the Rosary (Santa Corona in Vicenza). His total adhesion to the spirit of Counter-reformation brings it to take off from the fatherly experience: he abnegates the lesson of Veronese, and he chooses dark hue, attributing to painting the only purpose to teach truths of the Faith.
Alessandro dies around 1630, after starting to painting four of his sons: Giambattista il Giovane (1577-1617), Marcantonio (1578-1630), Girolamo (1586-1630) and Vincenzo (born in the last decade of 1500). Of these, only Giambattista il Giovane distinguishes himself for a certain autonomy from father, recovering a richer and vivacious palette united to the taste for decorative details, as you see for example, in the Martirio di Santa Giustina (church of S. Pietro in Vicenza). With his father Alessandro realizes part of the frescoes that adorn La Rotonda, particularly some panels in ceilings and the Allegories in the cupola.

© 1995-2007 - Silvia Colla and Alberto Nardi (
Thanks to AshMultimedia