Works included in this catalogue
Audran after Spada: Aeneas saving his father {1879} NGV [PR] [Levey gift, cat.34]
Picart after Spada: The Concert {1879} NGV [PR] [Levey gift, no.38] 

Spada, known largely as a genre painter in the lineage of Caravaggio, may seem an unlikely choice as the author of two paintings reproduced in Louis XIV’s Tableaux du roi engravings published in the 1670s. However, both paintings were thought at the time to have been painted by Domenichino, whose Carracci-influenced classicism was more to French taste. In any case, the two subjects represented probably also appealed to Louis XIV: see individual entries for further details.

These details demonstrate the simplistic nature of judgements past and present regarding the supposed gulf between the Caravaggesque and classicist tendencies of late 16th and 17th-century art and taste. See also Valentin.


For Spada, see Bénézit 13, p.94; and Beverley Brown, ed., The Genius of Rome 1592-1623, London: Royal Academy, 2001, esp.pp.59 and 107 (discussing Spada largely within the framework of Caravaggio’s influence)