Bartolomeo Biscaino (Italian, 1632-1657)
St. John the Almoner
oil on canvas
54.5 x 39 inches unframed
Biscaino was an Italian painter of the Baroque period active in Genoa. His earliest training was by his father Giovanni Andrea Biscaino and later by Valerio Castello. The artist’s emphasis on natural representation, emotional expressions of the figures, and the use of vibrant colors place this composition squarely in the tradition of the Genoese Masters of the Baroque period. Moreover the choice of colors, curving drapery and emotional expressions represented in this painting are typical of known works by Bartolomeo Biscaino, and subsequently lead us to our attribution. The subject represents St. John the Almoner also known as St. John the Merciful. As the patriarch of Alexandria in the early 7th century, he took it upon himself to help all those in need, above and beyond his calling.