Holy Family after Matteo Ponzone
Holy Family grouped in a landscape, seated; left-right, St Joseph, the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child, and St Anne quietening St John the Baptist, playing with lamb on ground after Matteo Ponzone. Mezzotint by Valentine Green, Plate 32 of Vol.1 of the ‘Houghton Gallery’, published in 1776 by John Boydell in London. The image is 35 x 25,5 the sheet is 68 x 50 cm. The print is in good condition.
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Matteo Ponzone (17th century) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active between 1630 and 1700 mainly in Venice. He was a pupil of Santo Peranda. Several of his works are in the churches and public buildings of Venice, particularly in San Giorgio Maggiore, and in the church of the “Padri Croceferi”. According to several sources, Ponzone was born in Venice, identified as «Mathi et Simon fiol de noble Patron Claudio Bolzon et Agnesina Negro equal in Madonna» born in the parish of Saint Moses November 9, 1583. Some other sources reported his date of birth approximately in 1586 in Rab, in the far north of Dalmatia, that time owned by Republic of Venice. Matteo Ponzone operated mainly in Venice, unless an interim period of ten years spent in Dalmatia, leaving their works in various locations of the coast. Ponzone was young student of Jacopo Palma the Younger, and was related to the painter Sante Peranda, who was probably one of his teachers and whose influence is evident in the work of Ponzone. He joined the Fraglia dei Pittori of Venice from 1613 to 1633, being one of the busiest in town throughout this period. In his workshop he had as pupils Antonio Zanchi, Andrea Celesti, Pietro Negri, and Giovanni Carboncino, who assist him in various paintings orders of the last Venetian period. The large amount of work left in situ adequately define the importance for the history of Venetian painting of the first ‘600, although the significance was detected only in recent years. Similarly, the caliber of orders received -those of particular importance include works in the churches of San Giorgio Maggiore, Madonna dell’Orto, and San Cassiano – account for the great success and wide contribution of Ponzone to Venetian artistic history.
Valentine Green FSA (3 October 1739 – 29 July 1813) was a British mezzotinter and print publisher. Green trained under Robert Hancock, a Worcester engraver, after which he moved to London and began working as a mezzotint engraver. He began to exhibit with the Incorporated Society of Artists from 1766, became a fellow a year later and a director in 1771. He was appointed mezzotint engraver to the King in 1773, and the following year was elected an associate engraver with the Royal Academy. Throughout the 1770s and 1780s, Green’s engraving practice flourished. In the 1790s, however, several of his international speculations failed and in 1798 he was declared bankrupt. In 1805, he accepted the role of keeper of the British Institution, a post he held until his death. Born in Salford Priors, he was placed by his father in a solicitor’s office at Evesham, where he remained for two years; but ultimately he decided, on his own responsibility, to abandon the legal profession and became a pupil of a line engraver at Worcester. In 1765, he migrated to London and began work as a mezzotint engraver, having taught himself the technicalities of this art, and quickly rose to a position in absolutely the front rank of British engravers.