PIETER HOFMANS ALSO KNOWN AS GIANNIZZERO
Antwep, 1642-Rome, 1692
Clash with firearms
dated: 1682 – 1685 ca.
oil on canvas, cm 74×98,5
The two beautiful companion pieces of battles scenes represent a clash with firearms and a clash with hand weapons, in order to create an elegant variation, typical of the works of this genre. Giancarlo Sestieri, who has studied the paintings, has recognized the profound influence of the most important battle painters of the 17th century, Jacques Courtois known as Borgognone, who was the undisputed leader of this genre, particularly in Rome and Florence, where he had a workshop. His only direct pupil to work in Rome is Pieter Hofmans, known as Giannizzero, and these two important paintings can be attributed to him. Comparisons with the ‘Battles’ in the Sciarra collection, which depict the clashes between European and Turkish armies, leave no doubt about the his autorship.
The discovery of these two compositions provides an additional and very important element for the understanding of the path of the painter, who arrived in Italy only in 1682 to enter the workshop of Courtois and who died only ten years later. The canvases are so close to the style of the master that they can be dated close to his arrival in Rome.