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Youth Lighting a Candle


Leandro da Ponte, known as Bassano (Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, 1557 – Venice, 1622)
Youth Lighting a Candle
oil on canvas,1570-75
The Room of Time

This extraordinary work shows a youth blowing on a smouldering ember in order to light a candle in a dark, indefinite space. The glow of the ember, made still brighter by the contrast with the all-enveloping shadow, illuminates the boy’s face from below. Previously thought to be a studio replica or copy of the renowned painting by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), now in the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples, it proved on direct comparison to be a separate work. The taut, agitated brushwork, rippling with light, above all in the large open collar, but then thin and diluted in the flesh tones, recalls the Bassano family and above all the hand of Leandro, as suggested also by local historians as from the 18th century.

  • Leandro da Ponte, detto Bassano
  • olio su tela, 1570-1575
  • olio su tela
  • Salotto del Tempo