Corrado Giaquinto STUDY FOR A STANDING MALE FIGURE2018-10-22T16:29:31+00:00

Corrado Giaquinto

 Molfetta 1703 – Naples 1766

STUDY FOR A STANDING MALE FIGURE

Oil on canvas – 66.5 x 50 cm.

Provenance
Rome, Collection of the Counts Falletti di Villafalletto, until 1958.

Literature
– M. d’Orsi, Corrado Giaquinto, Rome, Tipografia ‘arte della Stampa’, 1958, p. 82, fig. 86;
– F. Capobianco, in Ritorno al Barocco, catalogue of the exhibition, Naples, arte’m, 2009, vol. I, p. 304, n. 1.167.

Exhibitions
Ritorno al Barocco, catalogue of the exhibition, Naples, Gallerie di Capodimonte, 12/2009 – 11/4/2010, n. 1.167, exhibited with Giaquinto’s ‘Lying Nude’ sketch (fig. 2).

 

The present painting is part of a group of nine male figures studies by Corrado Giaquinto formerly in the Collection of the Counts Falletti di Villafalletto until its mention by Mario D’Orsi in 1958 (cf. M. D’Orsi, Corrado Giaquinto, cit., p. 82). Some of these studies appeared on the art market from time to time in recent times: e.g. the two with Christie’s, Rome, respectively in 2001 and 20021 (fig. 1-2).
Mario D’Orsi published the Falletti di Villafalletto group, assuming that it had to be dated around 1750, at the time of the ‘Baptism of Christ’ executed by Giaquinto for the eponymous Chapel in Santa Maria dell’Orto (Rome). The present work was in the 2009 exhibition Ritorno al Barocco. In the catalogue Fernanda Capobianco rightly proposed not to consider the Falletti di Villafalletto studies as a series produced at once, but she thought that they had done in different moments, presumably between Giaquinto’s training in Naples, circa 1723-1727, and 1753, the year of his departure for Madrid as a Court Painter of the King of Spain. In fact, Capobianco pointed out that being the ‘Lying nude’ (fig. 3) a study in reverse for the Saint’s figure of the ‘Death of St. Joseph’ (Turin, Church of Santa Teresa, 1738) (fig. 4)2, there is evidence that some of the Falletti di Villafalletto studies are earlier than 1750.
Two other studies, a ‘A male figure lying on a block, with the right hand on the head’ and ‘A seated male figure seen from the back’ have been in the 2016 edition of the TEFAF at Maastricht in the stand of Giacometti Old Masters Paintings (Rome) (figs. 5-6)3.
They have been respectively used for the figure of Argus in ‘Mercury and Argus’ (Molfetta, Collection of the Duke of Melpignano, circa 1730) (fig. 7)4 and for the corresponding figure in reverse in the center foreground of the ‘Landscape with a Cascade’ (Madrid, Prado, after 1753) (fig. 8)5. The nine Falletti di Villafalletto studies were presumably bought in block after Giaquinto’s death (1766) together with a ‘Head of Christ’ in profile (cf. M. D’Orsi, Giaquinto, cit., 1958, p. 81, fig. 87). This purchase seems to testify the importance of these paintings in the perception of the Roman Collectors.
At first sight the study here discussed does not seem to be recognizable in a work of Giaquinto. The artist did put an Apostle’s figure with a hand on his head in the ‘Pentecost’ at Lisbona, Museu de Arte (fig. 9), but the position of this figure is different from the one in our work. In fact, the true visual source for our study is recognizable in works by the artist who is meant to have been the main influence during Giaquinto’s years in Naples: Francesco Solimena. Standing figures often occur on the sides of important Solimena’s works of the first two decades of the Settecento. In particular, we notice the same invention (in reverse) in the soldier on the far right of Solimena’s ‘Madonna and Saints’ in the Church of San Pietro Martire (Naples) (fig. 10), in the figure of Christ in the ‘Noli me tangere’ recently on the New York art market (fig. 11)6, and in the ‘Martyrdom of St. Placidus’ for the Montecassino Abbey (in reverse; see here the final sketch in the National Museum of Budapest, fig. 12).
Also in the famous ‘Madonna giving to Saint Bonaventura the banner of the Holy Sepulchre’ in the Aversa Cathedral (1710) the figure of St. Paul springs from the same invention (fig. 13)7.
The role of Solimena in Giaquinto’s training has been often belittled in recent times, but the comparisons here offered between Giaquinto’s nude study in discussion and the similar figures in Solimena’s works of 1700-1720 seem to reconfirm Ferdinando Bologna’s statement that Giaquinto got back “sovente non solo alla lezione generica del maestro [i.e. Solimena] dei suoi primi studi, ma proprio ai testi specifici delle sue opere” [often not only back to the early teaching of the Master (i.e. Solimena) but also to his specific works]8.
The close attention of Giaquinto for Solimena’s methods goes far beyond his specific style and involves his way of composing, but this is a point impossible to face here. Under the technique point of view, it could be interesting to quote just two oil sketches by Solimena recently on the Naples art market (fig. 14)9: they are related to the ‘Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Tempe’ frescoed in the back-façade of the Church of the Gesù Nuovo (commissioned circa 1713, signed and dated 1725). In these works (I reproduce here only the ‘Angel with a sword’), we notice the same technique displayed by Giaquinto in his ‘Standing Nude’.
The influence of Solimena on such close followers as Francesco de Mura is reflected in Giaquinto’s early phase. It is maybe not by a case that in the ‘Madonna and Child with St. January and St. Sebastian’ at Milwaukee, Wisconsin Art Center, traditionally ascribed to Solimena but now thought by Francesco de Mura, we see again in reverse and with variants the standing nude pose here in discussion (fig. 15)10.
All the elements here offered seem to show that the ‘Standing Nude’ here discussed may be dated circa 1725-30, during the period of most intense phase of attention of the Master of Molfetta for Solimena.

Riccardo Lattuada


1 Cf. Christie’s, Rome, 6-XII-2001, lot 180, 64 x 49 cm; Christie’s, Rome, 4-XII-2001, lot 479, 66 x 45,7 cm.
2 Oil on canvas, 96 x 63 cm.
3 Oil on canvas, 49 x 65,5 cm each.
4 Oil on canvas, 48 x 64 cm.
5 Oil on canvas, 152 x 226 cm.
6 Cf. Christie’s, New York, 3-VI-2015, lot 40; oil on copper, 35 x 45,7 cm.
7 For the Budapest painting (1701-1705) cf. N. Spinosa (ed. by), Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) e le arti a Napoli, Rome, Ulrico Bozzi, 2018, vol. I, p. 339, n. 133d; for the ‘Noli me tangere’ formerly in New York (circa 1710) cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., I, p. 373, n. 150; for the San Pietro Martire altarpiece (1705) cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., pp. 356-357, I, n. 144; for the Aversa altarpiece (1710) cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., I, pp. 402-403, n. 168.
8 Cf. F. Bologna, Solimena al palazzo reale di Napoli per le nozze di Carlo di Borbone, in ‘Prospettiva’, 1979, n. 16, p. 62. For a biography of Giaquinto cf. S.A. Meyer, ‘Giaquinto, Corrado’, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Rome, Istituto della Enciclopedia Treccani, vol. 54, 2000, ad vocem.
9 Cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., I, pp. 448-449, n. 198.
10 Cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., I, pp. 600-601, D2.


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Corrado Giaquinto

Molfetta 1703 – Naples 1766

STUDY FOR A STANDING MALE FIGURE

Oil on canvas – 66.5 x 50 cm.

Provenance
Rome, Collection of the Counts Falletti di Villafalletto, until 1958.

Literature
– M. d’Orsi, Corrado Giaquinto, Rome, Tipografia ‘arte della Stampa’, 1958, p. 82, fig. 86;
– F. Capobianco, in Ritorno al Barocco, catalogue of the exhibition, Naples, arte’m, 2009, vol. I, p. 304, n. 1.167.

Exhibitions
Ritorno al Barocco, catalogue of the exhibition, Naples, Gallerie di Capodimonte, 12/2009 – 11/4/2010, n. 1.167, exhibited with Giaquinto’s ‘Lying Nude’ sketch (fig. 2).

 

The present painting is part of a group of nine male figures studies by Corrado Giaquinto formerly in the Collection of the Counts Falletti di Villafalletto until its mention by Mario D’Orsi in 1958 (cf. M. D’Orsi, Corrado Giaquinto, cit., p. 82). Some of these studies appeared on the art market from time to time in recent times: e.g. the two with Christie’s, Rome, respectively in 2001 and 20021 (fig. 1-2).
Mario D’Orsi published the Falletti di Villafalletto group, assuming that it had to be dated around 1750, at the time of the ‘Baptism of Christ’ executed by Giaquinto for the eponymous Chapel in Santa Maria dell’Orto (Rome). The present work was in the 2009 exhibition Ritorno al Barocco. In the catalogue Fernanda Capobianco rightly proposed not to consider the Falletti di Villafalletto studies as a series produced at once, but she thought that they had done in different moments, presumably between Giaquinto’s training in Naples, circa 1723-1727, and 1753, the year of his departure for Madrid as a Court Painter of the King of Spain. In fact, Capobianco pointed out that being the ‘Lying nude’ (fig. 3) a study in reverse for the Saint’s figure of the ‘Death of St. Joseph’ (Turin, Church of Santa Teresa, 1738) (fig. 4)2, there is evidence that some of the Falletti di Villafalletto studies are earlier than 1750.
Two other studies, a ‘A male figure lying on a block, with the right hand on the head’ and ‘A seated male figure seen from the back’ have been in the 2016 edition of the TEFAF at Maastricht in the stand of Giacometti Old Masters Paintings (Rome) (figs. 5-6)3.
They have been respectively used for the figure of Argus in ‘Mercury and Argus’ (Molfetta, Collection of the Duke of Melpignano, circa 1730) (fig. 7)4 and for the corresponding figure in reverse in the center foreground of the ‘Landscape with a Cascade’ (Madrid, Prado, after 1753) (fig. 8)5. The nine Falletti di Villafalletto studies were presumably bought in block after Giaquinto’s death (1766) together with a ‘Head of Christ’ in profile (cf. M. D’Orsi, Giaquinto, cit., 1958, p. 81, fig. 87). This purchase seems to testify the importance of these paintings in the perception of the Roman Collectors.
At first sight the study here discussed does not seem to be recognizable in a work of Giaquinto. The artist did put an Apostle’s figure with a hand on his head in the ‘Pentecost’ at Lisbona, Museu de Arte (fig. 9), but the position of this figure is different from the one in our work. In fact, the true visual source for our study is recognizable in works by the artist who is meant to have been the main influence during Giaquinto’s years in Naples: Francesco Solimena. Standing figures often occur on the sides of important Solimena’s works of the first two decades of the Settecento. In particular, we notice the same invention (in reverse) in the soldier on the far right of Solimena’s ‘Madonna and Saints’ in the Church of San Pietro Martire (Naples) (fig. 10), in the figure of Christ in the ‘Noli me tangere’ recently on the New York art market (fig. 11)6, and in the ‘Martyrdom of St. Placidus’ for the Montecassino Abbey (in reverse; see here the final sketch in the National Museum of Budapest, fig. 12).
Also in the famous ‘Madonna giving to Saint Bonaventura the banner of the Holy Sepulchre’ in the Aversa Cathedral (1710) the figure of St. Paul springs from the same invention (fig. 13)7.
The role of Solimena in Giaquinto’s training has been often belittled in recent times, but the comparisons here offered between Giaquinto’s nude study in discussion and the similar figures in Solimena’s works of 1700-1720 seem to reconfirm Ferdinando Bologna’s statement that Giaquinto got back “sovente non solo alla lezione generica del maestro [i.e. Solimena] dei suoi primi studi, ma proprio ai testi specifici delle sue opere” [often not only back to the early teaching of the Master (i.e. Solimena) but also to his specific works]8.
The close attention of Giaquinto for Solimena’s methods goes far beyond his specific style and involves his way of composing, but this is a point impossible to face here. Under the technique point of view, it could be interesting to quote just two oil sketches by Solimena recently on the Naples art market (fig. 14)9: they are related to the ‘Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Tempe’ frescoed in the back-façade of the Church of the Gesù Nuovo (commissioned circa 1713, signed and dated 1725). In these works (I reproduce here only the ‘Angel with a sword’), we notice the same technique displayed by Giaquinto in his ‘Standing Nude’.
The influence of Solimena on such close followers as Francesco de Mura is reflected in Giaquinto’s early phase. It is maybe not by a case that in the ‘Madonna and Child with St. January and St. Sebastian’ at Milwaukee, Wisconsin Art Center, traditionally ascribed to Solimena but now thought by Francesco de Mura, we see again in reverse and with variants the standing nude pose here in discussion (fig. 15)10.
All the elements here offered seem to show that the ‘Standing Nude’ here discussed may be dated circa 1725-30, during the period of most intense phase of attention of the Master of Molfetta for Solimena.

Riccardo Lattuada


1 Cf. Christie’s, Rome, 6-XII-2001, lot 180, 64 x 49 cm; Christie’s, Rome, 4-XII-2001, lot 479, 66 x 45,7 cm.
2 Oil on canvas, 96 x 63 cm.
3 Oil on canvas, 49 x 65,5 cm each.
4 Oil on canvas, 48 x 64 cm.
5 Oil on canvas, 152 x 226 cm.
6 Cf. Christie’s, New York, 3-VI-2015, lot 40; oil on copper, 35 x 45,7 cm.
7 For the Budapest painting (1701-1705) cf. N. Spinosa (ed. by), Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) e le arti a Napoli, Rome, Ulrico Bozzi, 2018, vol. I, p. 339, n. 133d; for the ‘Noli me tangere’ formerly in New York (circa 1710) cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., I, p. 373, n. 150; for the San Pietro Martire altarpiece (1705) cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., pp. 356-357, I, n. 144; for the Aversa altarpiece (1710) cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., I, pp. 402-403, n. 168.
8 Cf. F. Bologna, Solimena al palazzo reale di Napoli per le nozze di Carlo di Borbone, in ‘Prospettiva’, 1979, n. 16, p. 62. For a biography of Giaquinto cf. S.A. Meyer, ‘Giaquinto, Corrado’, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Rome, Istituto della Enciclopedia Treccani, vol. 54, 2000, ad vocem.
9 Cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., I, pp. 448-449, n. 198.
10 Cf. N. Spinosa, Francesco Solimena, cit., I, pp. 600-601, D2.


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