SAVOLDO, Giovanni Girolamo
(b. 1480, Brescia, d. 1548, Venezia)

Tobias and the Angel

Oil on canvas, 96 x 124 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

In Tobias and the Angel, the Brescian artist Giovanni Gerolamo Savoldo depicts the biblical episode in which a heavenly travelling companion tells the young Tobias to catch a fish and use its bile to cure his father's blindness. Savoldo has here produced a synthesis of his research into the effects of nature on the human figure, on drapery and on foliage, which appears to be pierced by light, and on the quality of colours seen in the distance, by adopting methods taught by Leonardo. A silvery light characterizes his paintings and this distinguishes him from other Venetian painters like Titian, who nonetheless influenced him, as did Lorenzo Lotto.