DIZIANI, Gaspare
(b. 1689, Belluno, d. 1767, Venezia)

Adoration of the Magi

1755
Oil on canvas, 48 x 77 cm
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

The gracefully delicate small-sized pictures of lyrical tone were formerly attributed to Sebastiano Ricci. However, it was exactly their fragile charm and the absence of power and plastic forms which showed them to be the works of Diziani, and not of Ricci, a more passionate and more robust master. In his own time Diziani was an extremely popular and widely employed painter; many of his works had been recorded to be in churches and monasteries of Venice and the Terra Ferma. In the 19th century, however, his name almost fell into oblivion; his pictures, if mentioned at all, were in most cases attributed to Ricci, his brilliant drawings to Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini.

The pendant of this painting, representing the Adoration of the Shepherds is also in the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts. Both paintings were commissioned by a private collector. Few accurately dated works of Diziani are known, therefore it is far from easy to attribute a date to the two pictures. Their style is closest to The Adoration of the Magi in the church of S. Stefano in Venice, an authentic work of Diziani from the thirties.