Pietro Testa- Il sacrificio di Didone
Il sacrificio di Didone
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Between 1638 and 1644, Testa completed what is perhaps his most important work, a set of complex and highly detailed etchings on the theme of The Seasons, which served as an expression of his interest in Platonic philosophy. Sympathetic contemporaries considered these his "finest and most important works."
Testa was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci to favor direct observation of natural phenomena, a fact that may have limited his productivity as an artist and might even have caused his death. Accounts of Testa's death are confused and contradictory, some suggesting murder or suicide (Testa was described as melancholic in temperament). Yet his earliest biographer, the 17th-century author Filippo Baldinucci, indicates that the death was accidental. Commenting on Testa's habit of "depicting night scenes and changes in the atmosphere and in the sky," Baldinucci states that Testa was standing on a Tiber riverbank, "drawing and observing some reflections of the rainbow in the water," when he fell in and drowned. Testa was the protagonist of a series of frustrated projects and problematic dealings wit his various patrons, among which there was his closely friend Niccolò Simonelli