GROUP OF OVALS CARVED WITH BIBLICAL SCENES
Carved wood, gilded and polychromed; inscription on the back ““Lavorato dal Sac. Giuseppe Castorina in Aci Reale Piazza Maggiore”.
The Biblical scenes represented in these ovals include a “Vision of Saint John the Evangelist at Patmos”, “Melchizadek offers bread and wine in a chalice” and a “Sacrifice of Isaac”. Thanks to a providential inscription on the back of one of the ovals, Vision of Saint John the Evangelist at Patmos, we know who the author of these works is; he is the Sicilian priest Giuseppe Castorina who belonged to a family of priests and sculptors that meritoriously contributed to the decoration of the Santissimo Crocifisso del Rinazzo church in Arcireale between the 18th and 19th centuries. Giuseppe Castorina was ordained as a priest in 1804 and named rector of the Santissmo Crocifisso del Rinazzo church on the 18th of July, 1824, substituting a recently deceased cousin, a position he maintained for 10 years.
The three ovals are noteworthy for the freshness of their narrative and their sincere devoutness. They are brought to life by the evocative contrast between the marbleized blue of the background and the gold used for the figures and the architectural details.
Acireale, first quarter of the 19th century