Monday, February 29, 2016


Room XXXI - Painting in Naples in the 1700s

“Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple” by Francesco Solimena (1657/1747) the best pupil of Luca Giordano
“Preparatory version for the fresco painted on the Counter façade of the Neapolitan Church of Gesù in 1725. The scene, theatrical and complex, reveals the great skills of Solimena painting a grand composition, in which monumental architecture is the background to the interweaving of characters with many different poses and expressions. The artist represents perfectly darting movements that emphasize the vibrancy of light” (Official website of the Barberini Gallery -
“Wedding contract” about 1752 and “Portrait of Father Giovannezio di Molina” by Gaspare Traversi (1722/70)
“Among the most interesting personalities of the eighteenth century in Naples. Pupil of Francesco Solimena, he was in Rome since 1752. His paintings show interest in nature and in Carracci's style and are aimed at a rigorous and sensitive rendering of reality, through which there is a vein of irony featured in scenes of everyday life” (Enciclopedia Treccani)
“Portrait of a lady” by Giuseppe Bonito (1707/89)
“A pupil of Francesco Solimena, Bonito is part of a generation of artists who determined the cultural climate of the Neapolitan eighteenth century with strong points of contact with the Spanish painting. In 1751 he was officially invested the office of House Painter of the King (...). He became also academic of St. Luke in 1752” (Lorenza Mochi Onori)
“Sebastiano Conca studied in Naples at the school of Francesco Solimena, but his career unfolded in Rome, where he assimilated the lessons of Carlo Maratta, who, with his school, had a hegemony over Roman painting, and yet he managed to blend it with his Neapolitan training rich of echoes of Luca Giordano, laying the foundations of the Roman Rococo” (Lorenza Mochi Onori)
“The Martyrdom of St. Denis” by Corrado Giaquinto (1703/66)
Denis was the first bishop of Lutetia, today Paris
Tradition has it that, during the persecution of Decius in about 250, after he had been beheaded on the hill which, following this event, took the name of Montmartre (mountain of the martyr), stood up, picked his head up and walked for 10 km (6.2 miles) continuing preaching as if nothing had happened
“Within the last Roman activity of the painter, in the period between 1949 and 1951, numerous sketches are known, characterized by immediacy of execution and density of material and color” (Lorenza Mochi Onori)
Corvi Room - Characters of Myth and History
On the walls, life-size figures in niches to imitate ancient sculptures:
Ciro, Sofonisba, Zenobia, Achilles, Silla, Tuzia, Scipio, Lucrezia, Tullia, Faustina, Dido, Cleopatra, Alexander the Great
Decorations around the room with elegant friezes that evoke the inventions of older artworks by Piranesi
The room was painted in 1770 by Domenico Corvi (1721/1803) from Viterbo for Princess Costanza Barberini Colonna di Sciarra

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