95. Giacinto Platania (1612 – 1691)

Engineer, painter and decorator, born in Acreage, considered as one of the of the greatest Sicilian painters and decorators of the seventeenth century. Platania worked mostly in the area surrounding Catania and Acireale.

Passaggio di Don Redin ad Acireale Giacinto Platania, Academia deli Zelanti, Acireale
Passaggio di Don Redin ad Acireale
Giacinto Platania,
Academia deli Zelanti, Acireale

He learned the basics of painting from his father Antonio and the perfected his technique in Messina. Platonic mostly worked for religious entities and his major works of art are hosted in various sacred buildings, especially in the churches of Acireale (altarpiece of the church of the Angels, other paintings in the Cathedral ) but also in the Pinacoteca Zelantea. Other works are scattered in the Eastern coats of Sicily.

Santa Apollonia, Giacinto Platania Church of San Michele Archangel0, Acireale (Catania)
Santa Apollonia, Giacinto Platania
Church of San Michele Archangelo, Acireale (Catania)

The painting of Platania was characterized by a judicious use of accents particularly realistic and whimsical. He also often loved to portray in his works glimpses of Acireale or the area surrounding the Etna volcano -which shows how strongly he was bond to his mother land. Besides being one of the major Sicilian painters of the seventeenth century, Platania is also considered one of the fathers of the so-called school of painting “Baroque Acese”.

The personality of Platania was multifaceted. He was also interested in engineering. For example during the disastrous eruption of 1669 (which destroyed part of Catania) he tried, together with Don Diego Pappalardo and Xavier Musmeci, to divert the path of the lava by erecting protective banks. This bold project was the first attempt of man’s opposition to the volcano, but it was unsuccessful due to the obstructionism of some landowners who feared for their land.

During that time, Platania completed his famous art piece portraying Catania sieges by a river of lava. The work is currently on display in the sacristy of the Cathedral of Catania.

Eruzione del 1669, Giacinto Platania Cathedral of Catania
Eruzione del 1669,
Giacinto Platania
Cathedral of Catania

Platania was buried in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli (Capuchins), in Acireale.

Read More:
1. Wikipedia, https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacinto_Platania

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