Storia dell’arte  Nuova Serie 2 | Luglio – Dicembre 2020
Un quadro “in scurtio di qualche valore”. Orazio Borgianni e il Davide e Golia dell’ambasciatore del duca di Mantova
Three unpublished letters of 1624 in the State Archive of Mantua shed new light on Orazio Borgianni’s David and Goliath, a painting formerly belonging to the ambassador of the duke of Mantua, according to Giovanni Baglione’s Vite (1642). The new findings challenge previous theories and identify the diplomat with the Mantuan nobleman Fabrizio Aragona (1566-1625). Documents also provide evidence that the first owner of the painting was a clergyman and Gonzaga’s agent, the abbot Gabriele Squarciafico (†1628), who had given the David to duke Ferdinando, while the latter in his turn had presented it to his ambassador. Due to Aragona’s misconduct and his heavy debts, the painting was lost. In this article the author discusses the painting held in the Accademia di San Fernando in Madrid. The essay concludes with brief biographical sketches of both Aragona and Squarciafico, the latter being a notable collector and perhaps the actual patron of Borgianni’s painting.