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  Luca Giordano

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Luca Giordano
 
 
 

Self-portrait
 
 
Luca Giordano, (born Oct. 18, 1634, Naples—died Jan. 3, 1705, Naples), the most celebrated and prolific Neapolitan painter of the late 17th century. His nickname Luca Fa Presto (“Luca, Work Quickly”) is said to derive from his painter-copyist father’s admonitions, which were certainly heeded. His other nickname, Proteus, was acquired as a result of his reputed skill in producing pastiches in the style of almost any artist. Because he is said to have painted a large altarpiece in one day, it is no wonder that his output, both in oil and in fresco, was enormous. His range of subject matter was equally great, although most of his pictures deal with religious or mythological themes.

Giordano’s earliest dated work is of 1651. He was influenced at the beginning of his career by the work of José de Ribera. His style underwent a profound change as a result of journeys to Rome, Florence, and Venice. The lightness and brightness of Paolo Veronese’s decorative works in Venice and the recent work of Pietro da Cortona in Rome and Florence induced him to abandon sober drama in favour of a more decorative approach. The influence of Pietro’s frescoes in the Pitti Palace, Florence, is particularly evident in Giordano’s huge ceiling fresco in the ballroom of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence, begun in 1682 and completed in the following year.

He went to Spain in 1692 as court painter to Charles II, returning via Genoa to Naples in 1702. The frescoes in El Escorial are often held to be his best works, but nearly 50 pictures in the Prado, Madrid, all painted in Spain, testify to his unflagging energy. His last great work in Naples was the ceiling of the Cappella del Tesoro in San Martino, begun on his return in 1702 and completed in April 1704. Many of his frescoes in Naples were destroyed or damaged during World War II. The great St. Benedict cycle of 1677 in the abbey of Monte Cassino was entirely destroyed, but the Christ Expelling the Traders from the Temple (1684) in the Gerolomini (San Filippo Neri) in Naples survived.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 



The Forge of Vulcan
Oil on canvas
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg




 



Venus, Cupid and Mars
Museum of Capodimonte, Naples




 



The Good Samaritan
1685
oil on canvas
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rouen



The Rape of the Sabines
1680



Mars and Venus, Captured by Vulcan
1670



La Mort de Seneque
1685


 


Christ Cleansing the Temple
Oil on canvas
Bob Jones University Collection, Greenville



The Philosopher Cratetes
c. 1650
Oil on canvas, 113 x 90 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome



A Cynical Philospher
Oil on canvas, 131 x 103 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich



Crucifixion of St. Peter
c. 1660
Oil on canvas, 196 x 258 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice



Dream of Solomon
c. 1693
Oil on canvas, 245 x 361 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid



Diana and Endymion
1680



Allegory



 



The Abduction of Helen

 
 
 
 



The Fall of the Rebel Angels
1666
Oil on canvas, 419 x 283 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna






Saint Antoine de Padoue et l'Enfant Jesus
1660







L'Adoration des bergers
1688




Le Christ apparaissant a la Madeleine
1688



Perseus Fighting Phineus and his Companions
c. 1670
Oil on canvas, 285 x 366 cm
National Gallery, London



Psyche Honoured by the People
1692-1702
Oil on copper, 57,5 x 68,9 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor



Psyche's Parents Offering Sacrifice to Apollo
1692-1702
Oil on copper, 56,2 x 69,2 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor

 
 
 
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