60. Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, called Morazzone

Morazzone 1573 – 1626 Morazzone or Piacenza

A Prophet, circa 1609 – 1613

This impressive figure of a prophet is connected to the fresco executed by Morazzone in the Sacro Monte, Varallo (1609-13). In the Ecce Homo Chapel, the decoration of imagined architecture and figures painted in trompe-l’œil by the artist provides a fitting background to the terracotta statues, moulded and coloured by Giovanni d’Enrico. After vigorously sketching the figure in black chalk, Morazzone went over the drawing with an ink wash and heightened it with white bodycolour. He gave the figure a plastic quality whose power supports the exchange between the artifice of the fresco and the sculptures. By making the prophet project from the niche – from which he seems to emerge – Morazzone played with the frame, adding further to the illusion of three-dimensionality.