Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Oval Room
Designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)
Prime example of a room designed for civilian use with elliptical transversal plan
In the four niches ancient sculptures “Palémon”, “Igeia”, “Hour” and “Athlete”
The busts in the upper part are of uncertain identification
“This room is peculiar expression of the climate of Neoplatonic speculation to which Cardinal Francesco Barberini adhered. He organized in this very hall meetings with distinguished scholars. From here, guests, exiting through the large doorway on the opposite side to the Hall of Pietro da Cortona, could enjoy the beauty of the private gardens” (Official website of the Barberini Gallery - www.galleriabarberini.beniculturali.it)
Room XXV - Painters in Naples from Ribera to Luca Giordano
“St. James” by Jusepe de Ribera aka Spagnoletto (1591/1652)
“Portrait of his wife Lucretia” about 1657, “Poetry” and “Music” by Salvator Rosa (1615/73)
“Having abandoned the sense of clarity and balanced tone of the first works, he later invented the genre of the fantastic view: landscapes with ruins with dark scenes of magic or alchemy. Inspired from iconographic and stylistic experiences of the Flemish and the Germans, the artist proposes unconventional subjects, polemic against the official culture and painting and expresses a taste of horror that alludes to a world in crisis” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Pietà” by Massimo Stanzione (1585/1656)
“His Caravaggio influence is more allied to that of Simon Vouet, Carlo Saraceni and Artemisia Gentileschi than that of G.B. Caracciolo and Ribera. In his best works that belong to the decade 1635/45, he exhibits a sharp sense for the refined chromatic values, melodic lines, figures built with grace as well as gentle and lyrical expressions. Stanzione became known as the Neapolitan Guido Reni” (Rudolf Wittkower)
“St. Peter and the centurion Cornelius” about 1647 and “Departure of Tobias” by Bernardo Cavallino (1616/about 1656)
“A pupil of Massimo Stanzione strongly influenced by Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi, Cavallino made his best paintings in small format. His work is in a class by itself; great colorist, his tenderness, elegance, grace and finesse are unparalleled at this time” (Rudolf Wittkower)
“Aeneas and Anchises” about 1635, “The Dinner of the Rich Glutton” and “Resurrection of Lazarus” about 1655 by Mattia Preti (1613/99)
“With Enea and Anchises Preti shows to have gone beyond subjects suggested by the 'Manfredi methodus' i.e. interior scenes with players and musicians, where the Caravaggio matrix is evident (...) and chose a historical dimension of broad influence influenced by Poussin and by Vouet (Vodret 1999). The emergence of the group in diagonal from the shadows into the light (...) is as a powerful dramatic effect, stressing the ultimate meaning of history: the escape from a world in ruins towards a new destiny of salvation and glory” (Angela Negro)
“St. Onuphrius” by G.B. Caracciolo aka Battistello (1570/1637)
“He learned first the lesson of Caravaggio and initiated a renewal of the local language that gave birth to a new figurative school. He enriched his draughtsmanship culture of research in the use of light offering a personal capacity of reading Caravaggio's experience. If for Caravaggio light was the main component of the things themselves, for Battistello is a formal means to give vision to clear and statuesque forms” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Hermit follower of S. Bruno” by Aniello Falcone (1607/56)
“The Philosopher Crates” about 1559, “Self Portrait” and “Foreman” by Luca Giordano (1634/1705)

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