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Pietro Domenico Olivero: the painter of the people at the service of the King

federico chiale, 29-06-2020

Pietro Domenico Olivero was born in Turin in 1679 to a family of Ligurian origin. Unfortunately, his birth is marked by a disease in the legs that makes him crippled throughout his life, forcing him to walk his whole life with the help of a stick. The character, however, despite his misfortune, is very balanced and jovial, and since childhood shows a particular intelligence. He does not hide his illness, on the contrary, in a very ironic way he often portrays himself in his paintings not without his handicap. Since he was a boy, he showed a predisposition to painting, under the protective wing of Vittorio Amedeo II, which pushed him to portray subjects of a religious nature. Olivero, however, is more attracted to the popular world and the uses and customs of people: he therefore begins to paint scenes of common life, markets, commercial exchanges, love scenes, in short, stories of ordinary life. Famous is the painting in our collection called 'The cook' (, signed by the same author D.Ollivero f., Where the painter portrays a cook about to cut a cabbage, typical Piedmontese vegetable. There are, however, religious scenes, such as the four paintings proposed by us where Olivero paints scenes from some biblical scenes ( However, the paintings that most characterize Pietro Domenico's artistic path are, as previously stated, the city scenes. In these works, the painter testifies to the daily life of the time, also portraying disappeared city landscapes. This is the case of our two paintings, where a square of Turin no longer exists, with the Miracle of the SS. Sacramento, both day and night ( His painting so real and alive enchants the Savoy court, which elects him a royal painter. He became friends with the most influential people of Turin such as the Marquis of Ormea, who also became a great collector of them. As for its current market prices, the value of one of his paintings can fluctuate between 20,000 and 40,000 euros, always in relation to the quality of the work and its origin. This market value is given by the quality of the paintings he made, and also by his large production made for the Royal Savoyard court. Currently many of his paintings are kept in Palazzo Madama, the Civic Museum of Turin and the Accorsi-Ometto Foundation.

old master paintings, turin, pietro domenico olivero

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