Provenance: Alfred (1883-1961) and Hermine Stiassni (1889-1962), Brno, Czech Republic, by 1925; thence London, 1938-1940; thence Los Angeles, 1940-1962; thence by descent to: Susanne Stiassni Martin and Leonard Martin, San Francisco (until 2005); thence by descent to: Private Collection, California (2005-2016) Exhibited: Künstlerhaus, Brünn (Brno), 1925, as by Ribera Literature: Alte Meister aus mährischem Privatbesitz: Ausstellung im Künstlerhaus / Brünn (Mährischer Kunstverein) Vienna 1925 Max Steif, “Alte Meister in mährischen Privatbesitz,” Belvedere, I, 7, no. 2-3; n.s. 32/33 (Feb. – Mar. 1925), p. 44, as by Ribera Wart Arslan, “Nuovi dipinti del Museo dell’Alto Adige,” Archivio per l’Alto Adige, XXXIII, no. 2, p. 6. Marina Stefani, “G. B. Langetti,” unpub. dissertation, Università di Padova, 1965-66, pp. 152-3, as by Langetti Marina Stefani, “Giovanni Battista Langetti,” in Carlo Donzelli and Giuseppe Maria Pilo, I Pittori del Seicento Veneto, Florence 1967, p. 214, as by Langetti Rodolfo Pallucchini, La Pittura veneziana del Seicento, Milan 1981, vol. I, p. 249, as by Langetti Marina Stefani Mantovanelli, “Giovanni Battista Langetti,” in Saggi e Memorie di Storia dell’Arte, XVII (1990), p. 71, as by Langetti Marina Stefani Mantovanelli, Giovanni Battista Langetti; Il Principe dei Tenebrossi, Cremona 2011, p. 207, cat. No. 109, fig. 68, as by Langetti, with bibl. Langetti was Genoese by birth and may have trained under Gioacchino Assereto, but an early trip to Rome established his stylistic direction. He studied there under Pietro da Cortona, but soon developed an interest in Caravaggism – in particular as practiced by Ribera— and it is thought he spent some time in Naples, given his affinity for the work of Ribera, Francesco Fracanzano, and, especially, Luca Giordano. It may have been Giordano who advised Langetti to take up his career in Venice following the outbreak of the plague in Naples. Langetti moved to Venice in 1656 and spent the remaining twenty years of his short life there, becoming quite successful, as his more than 120 known paintings attest. He was the leader of a group of Venetian tenebrist painters including Antonio Zanchi, Pietro Negri and Johann Carl Loth. Langetti’s style is vigorous and his brushwork vibrant; his quasi-scientific interest in anatomy is demonstrated in the depiction of figures whose bodies are invariably semi-clothed and well-articulated. Job Cursed by His Wife is an outstanding example of Langetti’s art. Although medieval retellings expanded the role of Job’s wife, the essence of the subject comes from one passage in the Book of Job: Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. (Job 2: 9-10) The composition is simple but powerful. Job is seated, partially draped, in what seems to be a dark hovel. He is both muscular and emaciated, although the extent of his physical suffering is suggested only by the presence of a single boil on his thigh. His glance upwards to his wife, imploring and pained, is harshly returned. The four hands expressively reflect the drama: Job’s acceptance amidst his questioning of what had brought him to this state and his wife’s berating of her husband. Langetti has not neglected to place a wedding band on her left hand. The theme was treated several times by the artist – perhaps a reflection of the veneration given to this archetype of patience and suffering in Venice, where Job was considered a saint: a church and a hospital were dedicated to San Giobbe (Saint Job). Marina Stefani Mantovanelli (2011, p. 207) has written of Langetti’s treatments of the Job theme: “…It is important to mention two issues: the first is that the figure of Job was traditionally interpreted, and not only in the seventeenth century, as the exemplum of a man who, bowing his head, accepts the actions of God, beyond the fact that those actions may have been a punishment or a test. But, secondly, Job is also the believer who denies a pietistic interpretation of human suffering and who does not fear questioning God concerning the legitimacy of the punishment to which, according to his friends, he deserves. We cannot say whether Langetti knew these interpretations, but certainly one cannot deny that Job, beyond his substantial acceptance of his situation, expresses some doubt about the harm that has befallen him.” In addition to the present work, which she dates ca. 1670, Mantovanelli notes other treatments of the Job theme by Langetti in Pommersfelden, Rovereto (Musei Civici), and in private collections in Genoa and Rome. The relative popularity in Venice of this rarely depicted subject – painted not only by Langetti, but by Carl Loth, and Luca Giordano as well-- may be connected to the devastating outbreak of the plague that afflicted the city in 1630 and the veneration of Job as a protector of those afflicted by skin diseases. For Langetti the subject provided an opportunity to explore the issues of suffering, patience, faith, and obedience implicit in the biblical tale, not neglecting the passions observed in this vivid evocation of a marital dispute.
About the Seller
1stdibs seller since 2012
Located in New York, NY
You may also contact the seller by phone
Why Shop on 1stdibs?
Only Vetted, Professional Sellers
Buyer Protection Guaranteed
Fully Insured Global Deliveries
More From This Seller
David with the Head of Goliath
Provenance: Private Collection, Santa Fe, NM The figure of David was, as is well known, particularly popular in the city of Florence during the Renaissance period. Numerous paint...
Price Upon Request
Madonna and Child with Angels in the Clouds
Provenance: Charles H. and Virginia Baldwin, Claremont, Colorado Springs, Colorado ca. 1907-1934; thence by descent until sold in 1949 to: Charles Blevins Davis, Claremont (renamed...
Price Upon Request
Portrait of a Lady of the Gonzaga or Sanvitale ...
Provenance: Probably Sanvitale Collection; by descent to Count Giovanni Sanvitale di Fontanellatto, until ca. 1940 Private Collection, France Literature: Probably no. 64, in a...
The Temptation of Adam and Eve & The Expulsion ...
When exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1992 Perrin Stein authored the following entry on the present paintings: Little is known today of the life and art of Miche...
You May Also Like
Portrait of a Lady C1740,oil on canvas
Follower of Sir Godfrey Kneller Dutch, (1646-1723) Portrait of a Lady Oil on canvas Image size: 30 inches x 25 inches Size including frame: 36½ inches x 31½ inches A well-ex...
Portrait of the Chinese craftsman and dwarf Tjo...
Portrait painting by Sally Philipsen 1879 - 1936 Portrait of the Chinese craftsman and dwarf Tjong Fu’hk Wong Waih. Signed and dated Sally Philipsen 1904. Oil on canvas. Size; 130 x ...
$12,216 Sale Price
Portrait of Martha Seymer as Modesty
Portrait of Martha Seymer as Modesty Oil painting on canvas 30 x 25 inches (76 x 64cm) Contained in its original carved and gilded Georgian swept frame Provenance: By family dec...
Price Upon Request
A sporting Conversation Piece
Joseph van Aken
Joseph van Aken (1699-1749) A sporting Conversation Piece: two gentlemen with their guns and dogs rest at the edge of a wood; a third approaches them whilst a fourth, gun in hand, w...
$16,967 Sale Price
Portrait of a young boy dressed in a brown coat...
Nathaniel Hone the Elder
This is a particularly engaging example of child portraiture, the genre in which Hone excelled. Born in Dublin in 1718, little is known of his training, though his early pastels sugg...
Portrait of a young girl
Bartholomew Dandridge (1691-1755) Three-quarter length portrait of a girl, perhaps the hon. Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Jacob de Bouverie, 1st Viscount Folkestone. Oil painting on...
A portrait of Nathaniel Chauncey (1717-1790), s...
Half-length portrait of Nathaniel Chauncey, 1717-1790, sitting at a small table on which rest a leather-bound book, two sheets of drawings and a “black basalt-ware” figure of the Mus...
Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia Hungary with the B...
Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia Hungarian/ German School, circa 1700 oil painting on canvas, framed canvas size: 112cm x 82cm Provenance: private European collection Fine Old Master ...