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Giuseppe d’Angeli 1709 – 1798
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Giuseppe d’Angeli 1709 – 1798

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The Holy Family


Oil painting on canvas 27 x 23 inches / 69 x 60 cm. and contained within a good Venetian 18th century carved and gilded frame.


Provenance: Private Collection Sweden. Painted c.1750.


Long considered by scholars as a work by the great Venetian painter Piazzetta, the present painting has only recently been recognised by Professor Knox, the world authority of Venetian 18th century painters and the author of the standard monograph on Piazzetta, as a work by his Venetian contemporary and pupil Giuseppe d’Angeli.

D’Angeli was born into the artistic milieu of 18th century Venice in 1709, and spent the whole of his artistic career there. He received his training as a student from Giovanni Baptista Piazzetta (1682-1754), the presiding genius of genre, portraiture and tenebrist religious painting in that city. After serving his 7-year apprenticeship, he was retained by the master as his personal assistant in the studio, and, together with Domenico Maggiotto and Francesco Cappella, worked together with Piazzetta on many of the great Church commissions of the mid-18th century from the mid 1740’s onward, the period of his master’s international fame.

On Piazzetta’s death in 1751, d’Angeli was called on to complete the important Visitation in the church of the Pieta in Venice; it is a testament to the high quality of the pupil’s work that it is exceptionally difficult to distinguish what is his work and which that of his master in this picture.

After Piazzetta’s death, d’Angeli inherited much of his artistic practise and painted numerous religious and genre paintings in a sweet, unpretentious but scholarly manner to which his training admirably suited him. Much of his output from the ensuing almost 50 years of his career (he was in his 90th year when he died) is still to be found in his native Venice. Other works are to be found amongst his commissions in Padua, Rovigo (the Cupola of St. Roch) and elsewhere in North-eastern Italy.

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