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 Giovanni Baleison

 

 

Giovanni Baleison


(b Demonte, Piedmont; fl 1481–4). Italian painter. All his signed and dated works are fresco cycles dating from the 1480s in the Alpine area near Demonte, situated in the Valle della Stura. He executed frescoes of the Life of St Stephen in the chapel of St Sébastien at Venanson (Alpes Maritimes) in 1481, and a further cycle in another chapel dedicated to St Sebastian at Celle Macra in Val Maira, Piedmont, in 1484. A fresco of the Virgin and Child on the façade of a house at Stroppo Bassura (Cúneo) in Piedmont bears his monogram and the date 1484. His signature appears with that of Giovanni Canavesio on the frescoes of the chapel of St Sébastien at Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée (Alpes Maritimes). These are all thought to be early works, as are the fresco decorations of the chapels of St Grat and of Notre-Dame-de-Boncoeur at Lucéram (Alpes Maritimes). Baleison was evidently a naive and popularizing painter, in composition and style closer to the rustic, tranquil manner of Tommaso Biazaci ( fl 1463–83) and his brother Matteo Biazaci than to the expressionism of Canavesio. His association with Canavesio has led some critics to attribute the frescoes of the chapel in the Bishop’s Palace in Albenga to Baleison and to propose that the two artists collaborated on the Evangelist frescoes on the vault in the chapel of S Bernardino, Pigna, and the presbytery frescoes of Notre-Dame-des-Fontaines, near La Brigue (Alpes Maritimes). These frescoes are, however, so superior in quality to Baleison’s signed works that the attribution is hard to sustain.

 

 


Venanson, chapelle Sainte-Claire. Fresque sur la vie et la mort de saint Sébastien

 

 


Martyrdom of St Sebastian with Saint Fabian and Saint Roch on either side.

 

 


Martyrdom of St Sebastian with Saint Fabian and Saint Roch on either side.

 

 

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