Stories of portraits in Naples between the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries. From rhymes to marbles
by Augusto Russo
This work concerns the art of portraiture in Naples between the end of the Seventeenth century and the early Eighteenth century, through two survey perspectives, of different nature.
The first part is an attempt to verify the fortune of the portrait in the Neapolitan poetic production at that time. The general warning is that we are faced, in most cases, with a repertoire of topoi, coming from a long tradition: the challenge against time, the most vivid effigy of the truth, the infinite competition between words and images. The most complex and inviting exegetical exercise moves between the rhetoric of the verses and the possible indications of works, people or concrete contexts.
The second and the most important part of the present work concerns funerary portraiture. Here we have tried to line up some of the major Neapolitan episodes of this kind. This choice offers the possibility of examining the more or less intact context of the monument, with its religious, civil and political implications. The noble chapel is the privileged place for such an investigation. The churches of Naples are rich in portraits carved in the tombs of various personalities. Many of these characters belonged to the forensic class, the so-called “toga” men.
Title: Stories of portraits in Naples between the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries
Author: Augusto Russo
Series: Alti Studi sull’Età e la Cultura del Barocco
Publisher: Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura della Compagnia di San Paolo
Pages: 243 pp.