CANUTI, Domenico Maria
(b. 1625, Bologna, d. 1684, Bologna)

St Michael Flinging the Rebellious Angels into the Abyss

San Michele in Bosco, Bologna

Returning to Bologna from Rome, Canuti was entrusted with a series of fresco commissions in the monastery San Michele in Bosco, where he served as abbot. There Canuti distinguished himself as one of Bologna's most modern painters of the period, producing animated compositions with spectacular perspective, notably the fall of the angels on the face of the church's triumphal arch.

The new church type, developed in the Baroque period, offered large format vertical picture surfaces on the inner façade and on the dividing wall between the nave and the choir, which were used both for oil paintings and for frescoes. Canuti's painting on the triumphal arch wall is an example of fresco decoration. The overall design of this work suggests a knowledge of Signorelli's Brizio Chapel in Orvieto, and its nudes, drawn with great virtuosity, betray Canuti's intense study of Michelangelo.

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