Domenico Piola the Elder
Allegoria della Primavera (Allegory of Springtime)

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"Allegoria della Primavera" (“Allegory of Springtime”)
Italian Genoese Baroque Old Master Oil Painting on Canvas, c. 1670

Entourage de Domenico Piola.

Domenico Piola the Elder (1627-1703)

Monumental 1670 Italian Baroque Oil Painting on Canvas

Domenico Piola the Elder (1627-1703)

Domenico Piola was an esteemed member of an illustrious and storied Genoa family.
Piola was a Genoese painter of the Baroque period. 
He was the leading painter in Genoa in the second half of the 17th century, working both on canvas for private collectors, and on ceiling frescoes for many Genoese churches and palaces.
His family studio was highly prolific. He was a frequent collaborator with other artists.

Domenico Piola was taught to paint by his brother, Pellegro Piola, then studied subsequently under Giovanni Domenico Capellini.  

After his initial training with Pellegro began at the age of seven, Domenico studied under Pellegro’s teacher, Giovanni Domenico Cappellino (1580–1651), for four years. These periods of training may have contributed to the monumentality of his compositions and draughtsmanship, but his early copies after Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and his working relationship with Valerio Castello in the late 1640s and early 1650s encouraged the development of a more Baroque style. 

His early work is highly eclectic; his Martyrdom and Ascension of St James (1647; Genoa, S Giacomo della Marina) follows Castello in its debt to the elongated figures of Lombard painters such as Cerano and Giulio Cesare Procaccini. 

Domenico Piola later worked in partnership with his younger brother, Giovanni, his three sons Paolo Gerolamo Piola, Anton Maria Piola, and Giovanni Battista Piola, as well as his two sons-in-law, Gregorio de' Ferrari and Domenico Parodi  and his brother-in-law Stefano. 

Domenico Piola's earliest known work, "The Martyrdom of St. James," for the oratory of San Giacomo at Marina di Genova, dates from 1647.

This fertile artist held a fundamental place in the development of Genoese painting during the second half of the seventeenth century.

Piola’s paintings are particularly graceful and charming, as seen here in "Allegoria della Primavera."

"Allegoria della Primavera" is a stunningly beautiful and original work of Italian Baroque painting.  The execution of this painting, the balance of composition, and the superb tonality combine to an unforgettable extent.

Allegoria della Primavera.
Entourage de Domenico Piola.
Art historians define Entourage de as, "In our opinion a work by a hand closely associated with a named artist, but not necessarily his pupil."
I have thus far been unable to locate a signature on Allegoria della Primavera.
Thus, I offer Allegoria della Primavera, as "entourage de" (follower of) Domenico Piola.

Domenico Piola’s early work recalls the elegant style of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione.
Later, however, he took inspiration from the more conservative compositions of Pietro da Cortona.  
Domenico Piola and his pupil and son-in-law Gregorio de Ferrari were the leading painters in Genoa during the second half of the seventeenth century. 

The Piola family monopolized the market for the decoration of noble Genoese ceilings for nearly a century, 

Working almost exclusively in his native Genoa, Domenico Piola was counted among the most important and influential artists active in Liguria, Italy in the second half of the 17th century. 

Domenico Piola was the leading member of a local artistic dynasty. (C. G. Ratti, in his biography of the artist, notes that there were so many houses in Genoa decorated by Piola that it would be too tiring to list them all)  

At the height of his reputation, Domenico Piola was the undisputed leader of the Genoese school of painting, supervising a large and busy studio, known as the Casa Piola, which grew to include Piola's younger brother, his brother-in-law, his three sons, and his two sons-in-law.. He left a significant body of work and, with the Casa Piola active into the 1760’s, his influence remained predominant in his native city for many years after his death. 
The French bombardment of Genoa in May 1684 led to the destruction of much of Piola’s work in various churches and palaces in the city, as well as the contents of his home and studio, thus relatively few paintings and drawings from the first part of his career survive today. 

From the latter half of the 17th century and into the early 18th century the Casa Piola came to dominate and unify the production of the various elements involved: quadratura, stucco, sculpture and painting. The workshop's eminence in all these media enabled it to achieve an artistic monopoly that partially accounts for the decorative consistency in Genoa in the last half of the century. 

Domenico Piola's work often featured undulating figures, streamlined twisting draperies and diagonal compositions.
Piola responded to the echoes of Parmigianino’s style. 

In Genoa, Piola and began to decorate rooms in the Palazzo Rosso on the theme of the four seasons, Piola executing Autunno ("Autumn") and Inverno ("Winter"). 

A few further examples of the paintings of Domenico Piola include:
Allegoria della Musica 
Allegoria della Gioventù, ("Allegory of Youth") by Domenico Piola, Genoa, c. 1680, currently exhibited at the Blanton Museum of Art
Allegoria della pace e abbondanza ("Allegory of Peace and Abundance")
Soggetto allegorico in un giardino ("Allegorical Subject in a Garden,")

Dedalo e Icaro ("Daedalus and Icarus")
Aspetto del Cristo Bambino a San Antonio di Padova ("Appearance of the Christ Child to Saint Anthony of Padua") 
Assunzione della Vergine ("Assumption of the Virgin") 
Baccanale di putti
Testa di virtù
Il ratto di Europa (“The Rape of Europa”)
Vanità ("Vanity,")
and many others.

Domenico Piola’s paintings are represented in the following museum collections: 

Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
La lapidazione di Santo Stefano ("The Stoning of St Stephen")
Il Battesimo di Cristo ("The Baptism of Christ")

J. Paul Getty Museum, 
"La Madonna e il Bambino adorato da San Francesco" ("Madonna and Child Adored by Saint Francis")

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Spain
Blanton Museum of Art
Brooklyn Museum, New York
The Royal Collection, London
Art Institute of Chicago  
Cleveland Museum of Art
Courtauld Institute of Art, London

The Louvre Museum in Paris
Metropolitan Museum of New York
Museo dell'Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti, Genoa
Palazzo Bianco, Genoa 
Palazzo Rosso Gallery, Genoa
Philadelphia Museum of Art   

Prado Museum of Madrid
Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan 
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Harvard University Art Museum
Hermitage Museum
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia
Los Angeles Museum of Art  
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Museo di Belle Arti, Genoa, Italy   
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Ajaccio  
Teylers Museum, Netherlands   
Museum of Graz, Austria.
and many others.

"Allegoria della Primavera," our offering today, is well-worthy of a museum’s walls.
Condition is excellent, and of museum quality.

"Allegoria della Primavera" is offered at an extremely realistic price for an important Old Master Oil Painting.

The paintings of Domenico Piola have been enthusiastically studied, sought and collected for decades and centuries.   His works have been offered by the world’s lading auction houses, including Sotheby’s, Christie's, Bonhams and others.

Prices have been strong, and continue to grow.
Just a few examples:

"Trionfo della saggezza sull'ignoranza e paura" was sold for $223, 654 in 2013
Sotheby’s sold Madonna and Child adored by Saint Francis of Assisi for $140, 500
Sine Cerere Et Baccho Friget Venus brought $119, 969 at auction
Assunzione della Vergine sold for $108, 000,

Even paintings classified as merely “School of Domenico Piola” have captured strong prices, such as 
Madonna Delle Gavette which was sold at $14, 773.

The term “Old Master” is commonly accepted usage referring to a European painter or artist who worked before the year 1800.  In other words, paintings of the 19th century would be considered “too recent” to be included in this category.  Neither John Constable nor  Eugène Delacroix would be classified as Old Masters.  The list of recognized Old Masters is rather long, and includes such names as: Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Flemish 1525-1569); El Greco (Spanish 1541-1614); David Teniers the Younger (1610–1690); Meindert Hobbema (1638-1709); Caravaggio (Italian 1573-1610); Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669); Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594–1665); Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675); Joshua Reynolds (English, 1723–1792) and numerous others.  

The works of the Old Masters are, of course, increasingly difficult to find and have enjoyed a correspondingly steady rise in prices. Nevertheless, they represent a much more sound investment than the fluctuations of today's financial markets.  One could sleep much more soundly with an Old Master painting on the wall than a rapidly-declining stock market portfolio.

The paintings of the Old Masters represent a much more secure investment, esthetically as well as financially, that the vagaries of today's stock market.

Today’s offering, "Allegoria della Primavera," is a huge painting.  
It measures 45.5 inches x 39.25 inches in original antique wooden frame, and 43.5 inches x 35.75 inches unframed.

"Allegoria della Primavera," as shown, is in excellent original condition, remarkable for a painting on canvas nearly 350 years old.

Please write with any questions or comments regarding "Allegoria della Primavera."

My main stock in trade are original antique oil paintings.  


  • Artist
    Domenico Piola the Elder (1627-1703, Italian)
  • Creation Year
  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    45.5 in. H x 39.25 in. W
  • Seller Location
    Arles, France
  • Reference Number
About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2017

Located in Arles, FR

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