attacking a Carriage (Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie). This drawing can be compared especially to the Cain and Abel of the Museo di San Martino, in which poses, appearance, clothing and manner of making the draperies float, match exactly. Faithful to the narrative of this episode which precedes the death of Hercules in Apollodorus (The Library II, 7.7) and in Diodorus Siculus (Library of History IV, 10), Falciatore shows us Hercules wearing his lion skin whose claws can be seen whirling, making Lichas spin to throw him into the Aegean Sea, after which he unwittingly brings Deianira’s coat to him poisoned with the blood of Nessus. Like all depictions of Hercules, the subject lends itself to showing the artist’s skill in drawing heroic anatomies, but this theme also implies the ability to render the violence of physical pain and fury which inhabit the hero.
32 FRANCESCO Naples 1729 – 1814
Ariadne at Naxos; The Marriage of Bacchus and Ariadne Gouache on paper, a pair in their original frames 337 x 540 mm (13 1/4 x 21 1/4 in.)
BIBLIOGRAPHY Vincenzo Pacelli, “Francesco Celebrano pittore: inediti e precisazioni”, Studi di storia dell’arte in memoria di Mario Rotili, Naples, Banca Sannitica, 1984, p. 509, ill. fig. 7 and fig. 8
A sculptor, maker of santons for the local nativity cribs, illustrator, organiser of festivities, Francesco Celebrano is a complete artist, of multifaceted talent that is entirely characteristic of Neapolitan creativity. He was a pupil of Francesco Solimena and then entered the studio of Matteo Bottiglieri to learn sculpture. He worked for the Prince Raimodo Di Sangro, in particular at the Sansevero chapel. From 1770, he became the painter of the Bourbons, organizing court festivities, receiving several commissions for decorations and religious altarpieces. From 1772 to 1770, he was director of the Royal porcelain factory of Naples, then “pittore di camera” to Ferdinand IV of Naples until 1798. For a long time, his career was only known in a fragmentary manner and mainly for his links with the enigmatic Prince Raimondo Di Sangro whose “pittore di casa” he became. For him, he created the sculpted altarpiece of the spectacular Sansevero chapel and helped him in his scientific and chemical research. One of their most curious inventions was the “carrozza maritima” which sailed in the Bay of Naples in July 1770, causing surprise to the public. This major event long occulted the rest of a successful career and enviable success that have been revealed by the research of Elio Catello and Vincenzo Pacelli. It is nevertheless at this time, towards the end of the 1760s, that Celebrano created these two grisaille compositions. Vincenzo Pacelli has related them to four tempere in grisaille in the museum in Caen and especially to works painted in fresco in the Palazzo Sangra, attributed to Celebrano by Nicola Spinosa and Vincenzo Pacelli. These works exploit a brilliant, decorative, spiritual and light vein that distinguishes itself from Solimena’s formula and shows the artist’s interest in other artistic cultures. They have in common, bright colours, lively and
131 NEAPOLITAN DRAWINGS
Published on Mar 11, 2014