Three paintings by Nicola Grassi

Style period: baroque

Century: 18 A.D.

The museum fund of St Kvirin contains a composition of three paintings by the Italian painter Nicola Grassi. The central canvas represents the Annunciation (140x102 cm), which is flanked by the images of St Augustin and St John of Nepomuk (142x68 cm) on one canvas, and St John of Capistrano and St Francis of Paola (142x93 cm) on the other. The paintings were made in 1730, or perhaps a few years earlier. There is a valid hypothesis according to which the principal of these works was Pietro Antonio Zuccheri, the Krk bishop in the period from 1739 until 1778. He was born in Friulania, where master Grassi operated.
Nicola Grassi is an important representative of the Venetian Baroque visual arts. He was born in 1682 in Formeasa (Carnia), but since 1712 he worked in Venice, where he developed his painting skills surrounded by the great Venetian artists. His teacher was Niccolò Cassana, and later he exhibited the influences by Giacomo Piazzetta, Giambattista Pittoni, Federico Benković and others. He started his career by relying upon the heritage of the tenebroso, while gradually brightening his colours in accordance with rococo trends, appearing in Venetian painting in the 1720s.
The paintings are a beautiful example of Venetian Baroque painting. Grassi’s works can also be found in Rovinj, Osor, Trogir, Šibenik and elsewhere.


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  • Bralić, Višnja, Nina Kudiš Burić, Slikarska baština Istre, Institut za povijest umjetnosti, Zagreb, 2006.
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  • Tomić, Radoslav, Slika Nicole Grassija u Osoru, Rad. Inst. povij. umjet., 1992.
  • Žic, Igor, Crkveno slikarstvo na otoku Krku, Rijeka, 2006.