Coming from an important Roman collection, Palazzo del Gallo di Roccagiovine at the Foro Traiano, the painting exhibited here has several antique labels on the back that identify the author in Angelo or Francesco Trevisani, and recall the inventory number that the painting had in the collection of the Marquis Roccagiovine.
The family had Ligurian origins, and from 1847 they were present in Rome in the palace in Rione Monti, erected in a point where a few meters below street level, there is the eastern exedra of the Basilica Ulpia, which is part together with the Mercati Traianei and the Greek and Latin Libraries, and the Column of Trajan, of the great monumental complex built by Apollodoro di Damaso, architect of the Emperor Trajan. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Labels on the back recall that the painting was located in the room from which the chapel was accessed.
The iconography of Roman Charity derives from a story, narrated in the Factorum et dictorum memorabilium libri IX by the Roman historian Valerius Maximus.
It is the exemplary story of a woman, Pero, who secretly nurses her father, Cimone, after he is imprisoned and sentenced to death by starvation. She is discovered by a guard, but her act of generosity impresses the officials in charge who end up releasing her father. The episode is depicted as a great act of Roman pietas and honor.
The oval shape seems to lend itself perfectly to highlighting the complex interweaving of gestures and embraces in the composition: the beautiful female figure of Pero is in the act of reaching out to the right in a momentum, while with one hand she holds a white scroll, and with the other she caresses the ear of the man on her left. The latter, to be identified with Cimone, wears a red mantle that contrasts with the blue of that of Pero, and turns his gaze intensely to the right, with his chest that seems to be rising in that instant from a more crouched position, while one of his two hands is resting on the scroll that is partially resting on a white and green striped pillow. A chubby baby is depicted leaning against the pillow, holding something, perhaps a feather for writing.
On the woman’s arms thin golden bracelets create reflections of light.
The painting appears to be of excellent quality, and we know from the labels that its authorship is to be attributed either to Angelo or Francesco Trevisani, perhaps more possibly to the first of the two brothers.
Of Venetian culture, Angelo was a pupil of painter Andrea Celesti and Antonio Balestra, and was greatly influenced by Zanchi, Piazzetta and Pittoni. He is a painter of whom little is still known; the studies of Nicola Ivanoff and those of Adriano Mariuz have been fundamental, and now art historians are concentrating on understanding the role played by Trevisani in the evolution of the language of the eighteenth century Veneto.
From the sources are known his many commissions, and it results the profile of an assimilator of all the trends that were in those years transforming the pictorial culture of the lagoon. Luigi Lanzi captured perfectly this aspect of his art, the ability to contaminate different ideas, defining the style of the master: “chosen and conformed in part to the schools then reigning” adding, moreover, that “his brush was diligent and refined, especially in the art of chiaroscuro”.
As highlighted in Denis Ton’s study, the artist seems to indicate a middle ground with respect to both the classicism of Balestra or, even earlier, Bellucci, and the neo-enebrism of Piazzetta and the rococo of Sebastiano Ricci. “Recollections from the style of these masters are absorbed and reworked within a manner that does not renounce the structural solidity of the figures, but dresses them in dazzling colors, unexpected falls of shadow, marking an alternative on which some great artists will move, not easily assimilated to the successful currents: Giambattista Pittoni and, above all, Giambattista Crosato”.
 L. Lanzi, Storia pittorica della Italia, Bassano del Grappa 1796, III, pp. 384-385
 D. Ton, op. cit., p. 55.
We also suggest you to evaluate a proposal similar to this one in the section dedicated to Antique Paintings.
Telearte is online antiques, present for many years in the trade of antique art and jewelry. Telearte is also online antique auctions.