PROCACCINI, Giulio Cesare
(b. 1574, Bologna, d. 1625, Milano)

The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine

Oil on canvas, 149 x 145 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

This late painting by Procaccini shows that the painter retained the examples of Correggio and Parmigianino even in his maturity. This is evident not only in the faces and the elongated and twisted bodies (especially that of the Christ Child), but also in the cold, clear lighting of the brilliantly coloured, almost metallic drapery. In the highly controlled, somewhat calligraphic elegance of the composition, with its closed circular rhythms operating on various planes, the typical innovations of Milanese painting are apparent. These influences are evident in the mask-like face of St Joseph, backed by shadows, and in the fluent line and abrupt breaks - as in the right angle made by the angel's elbow, which closes off the painting on the far right.