Job Cursed by His Wife
Oil on Canvas
44 x 34 1/2 inches
 

GIOVANNI BATTISTA LANGETTI

Job Cursed by His Wife is an outstanding example of Langetti's art. The theme was treated several times by the artist - perhaps a reflection of the veneration given to this archetype of patience and suffering in Venice, where Job was considered a saint (San Giobbe). Although medieval retellings expanded the role of Job's wife, the essence of the subject comes from one passage in the Book of Job:

Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips (Job 2: 9-10)

About Giovanni Battista Langetti 

Langetti was Genoese by birth and may have trained under Gioacchino Assereto there, but an early trip to Rome established his stylistic direction. He studied there under Pietro da Cortona, but soon developed an interest in Caravaggism - in particular as practiced by Ribera - and it is thought he spent some time in Naples, given his affinity for the work of Ribera, Francesco Fracanzano, and, especially, Luca Giordano. It may have been Giordano who advised Langetti to take up his career in Venice following the outbreak of the plague in Naples.

Langetti moved to Venice in 1656 and spent the remaining twenty years of his short life there, becoming quite successful, as his more than 120 known paintings attest. He was the leader of a group of Venetian tenebrist painters including Antonio Zanchi, Pietro Negri and Johann Carl Loth. Langetti's style is vigorous and his brushwork vibrant; his quasi-scientific interest in anatomy is demonstrated in the depiction of figures whose bodies are invariably semi-clothed and well-articulated.