Venice 1791 - 1882 Milan
Hayez is regarded as the most important Italian representative of History Painting in the Era of Romanticism. He was strongly marked by his training at the Venetian Academy, which had been modernised by Count Leopoldo Cicognara, and under the Neoclassicist Teodoro Mateini. From 1809 in Rome he made an intensive study of the work of Raphael and came to know the sculptor Antonio Canova (qv), who was to exert a great influence on his subsequent work. The masterpiece of his Neoclassical phase was Rinaldo and Armida (Venice, Ca’ Pesaro). His painting Pietro Rossi (Turin, private collection), with its new style and its medieval subject, became an effective manifesto for the emerging current of Romanticism in painting. Hayez moved to Milan on being appointed to a Professorship at the Brera Academy. Here, he painted historical role portraits of outstanding personalities in public life. As a history painter he evinced a particular interest in Italian themes. In one of his most enthusiastically received paintings, The Thirst of the Crusaders at the Walls of Jerusalem (1838, Turin, Palazzo Reale), there are traces of the influence of both seventeenth-century Venetian and nineteenth-century German painting. These sources were to be of particular significance for his later output. After the upheavals of 1848, in which Hayez took part, he again turned to allegorical scenes with a political background.
Francesco Hayez
Vengeance is Sworn, 1851

Oil on canvas, height 237 cm, width 178 cm
Inv.-No. GE1642
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