PRETI, Mattia
(b. 1613, Taverna Calabria, d. 1699, La Valletta)

The Raising of Lazarus

Oil on canvas, 202 x 260 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

This painting is assigned to Preti's Neapolitan period, after the Calabrian painter's Roman experience and his travels in northern Italy. During these years (1653-1659), the artist came into contact with the Neapolitan artistic ambient, a world suffused with naturalism. There he began a reflection on the Roman matrix in which he had been formed, and gave life to an important synthesis between the various experiences that led to his artistic maturity.

Considered one of the masterpieces of the sixth decade of the century, the canvas is characterized by a monumental composition, sustained by an able control of light. The strong play of light and dark that distinguishes the painting is in keeping with the rhythm of the narrative.