Double sided Landscape with the Baptism of Christ and St John the Baptist Preaching
(Agostino Tassi)


Landscape with the Baptism of Christ (recto)

Landscape with the Preaching of Saint John the Baptist (verso)


Agostino Tassi was one of the outstanding quadrature specialists of the period, his most famous work being the illusionistic setting for Guercino’s celebrated Aurora fresco (1621-3) in the Casino of the Villa Ludovisi, Rome. Agostino Tassi also painted small landscapes in the manner of Bril and Elsheimer, and for centuries he was remembered mainly because he taught Claude, his significance as a decorative painter forgotten. Agostino Tassi’s other claim to fame (or notoriety) is that in 1612 he stood trial for raping Artemisia Gentileschi. Agostino Tassi spent some well-deserved time in prison and was sentenced to banishment from the Papal States, but the verdict was annulled and he was at liberty in 1613.

However, it is certain that he was a violent and unsavoury character ( he is said to have also raped his sister-in-law and was suspected of murdering his wife); indeed, even Caravaggio’s life pales somewhat in comparison with Agostino Tassi’s

24.2 x 19.5 cm
oil on panel, painted on both sides

Vittorio Cini collection;

private collection, Italy


La pittura del Seicento a Venezia, exh. cat., Venice 1959, p. 21, cat, nn. 18 a) e b), reproduced (as by Adam Elsheimer);

Adam Elsheimer: Werk, kunstlenische Herkunft und Nachgolge, exh, cat., Frankfurt am Main 1966, p. 70, cat. n. 104


Venice, June – October 1959, Museo d’Arte Moderna Ca’ Pesaro, La pittura del Seicento a Venezia, cat. nn. 18 a) e b) (as by Adam Elsheimer);
Franfurt am Mai, December 1966 – January 1967, Stadelsches Kunstinstitut, Asam Elsheimer: Werk, kunstlenische Herkunft und Nachgolge, cat n. 104.

Historical Period
Baroque - 1600-1720
Price band
$250,000 - $350,000