Sphinx Fine Art
Domenico Maggiotto attended the school of Giovanni Battista Piazzetta in Venice from the age of ten, and until the latter’s death (1754) he was active there as an assistant. His works between 1730 and 1750 are characterized by an adherence to the expressive formulae of Piazzetta and are concentrated exclusively on genre subjects, for example Boy with a Flute (c. 1745; Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico). The plasticity of form and the strong preference for chiaroscuro effects are the most obvious characteristics of his works of this period, during which he collaborated on several large canvases painted by Piazzetta, including Alexander before the Body of Darius (c. 1745–7; Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico). Following the death of Piazzetta, Maggiotto, clearly disorientated by the lack of firm guidance, developed a tendency towards impersonal eclecticism. At the suggestion of Giuseppe Angeli (1712–98), he completed, in lightened tones, the altarpiece of St Nicholas and the Blessed Arcangelo Caneti (1754) for S Salvatore, Venice, which had already been roughly sketched out by Piazzetta; he also produced two of the Stations of the Cross (1755) for S Maria del Giglio. A certain lack of experience with works on a large scale is also apparent, particularly in the rather cold and disunited quality of such works as the altarpiece of St Bartholomew (1758–9) in S Bartolomeo at Valnogaredo, near Padua.
From the time of Maggiotto’s election to the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice, in 1756, he developed a classicizing, narrative style; he produced numerous works of an anecdotal, moralistic and historical nature, for example Volumnia and Coriolanus (c. 1770; Padua, Museo Civico). However, he continued until the end of his career to produce genre scenes, for example Man Looking at a Medal (c. 1770; Milan, Treccani private collection) and Restaurant Scene (c. 1770; Rome, private collection, see Martini, p. 553, no. 872), which also reveals the influence of Rembrandt’s portraiture, perhaps resulting from Maggiotto’s contacts with Giuseppe Nogari. Maggiotto was also important as a restorer of paintings.
Maggiotto is represented in the following collections: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, amongst others.