Black chalk, pen and brown ink, grey wash, squared for transfer with black chalk Inscribed Lorenzo de Caro and n.o 1 Ducati 1.20 on the verso 465 x 292 mm (18 5/16 x 11 1/2 in.) Lorenzo De Caro is a strictly Neapolitan artist who only worked outside its walls on rare occasions. His workshop and accommodation were close to Sant’Anna di Palazzo and his paintings can be admired at the Chiesa dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo. Although archival documents give us information about his civil status, his private and family life, the usual historiographical sources are silent, which deprives us of information about his training. It is therefore necessary to rely on the style, especially of his rare drawings that undeniably bear the mark of Francesco Solimena, in the round blooming features, the emphasis of the draperies, and above all the technique that alternates ink lines, the light indicated with grey wash and hatching in black chalk to give the space structure and solidity. They can be confused with those by Jacopo Cestaro, which are often very similar. From the same generation, the two painters worked together at the Chiesa dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo between 1757 and 1759, and their style, dependent on Solimena but marked by the naturalism of Giuseppe Bonito and Gaspare Traversi, is
In any case, this refers to an exceptional period for creation, discoveries and artistic patronage in Naples. Although the drawings of Cestaro usually combine black chalk and brown ink and are more free, more rapid, we can understand that the artist is making a special effort for a specific project. The man’s pose is exactly what we see in his paintings and drawings, for instance in his St. Philip destroying the idol with words in the church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo in Naples, a pose which derives moreover from models disseminated by Francesco Solimena2 and Francesco De Mura. In the same way, the man’s face is recognizable with the eyebrows pointing upwards, also derived from Solimena, but reused on several occasions by Cestaro. The graphic skill is, yet again, derived from the master’s teaching. The brilliantly spread grey wash which is used to model refined and precise expressions is recognizable. The chiaroscuro and movement are always essential. However, these elements are now used for a more sophisticated and more detailed manner, a more Rococo style. 1 Edition of 1783-1784, t. I, Book III, chap. IV, § 15, p. 218 or commented edition History of the Art of Antiquity, Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute, 2006, p. 176 and 276. 2 It derives from the figure of Elijah in Solimena’s altarpiece Solimena S. Elia e S. Eliseo, Naples, Santa Maria del Carmine Maggiore (Bologna, fig. 102).
35 LORENZO Naples 1719 – 1777
133 NEAPOLITAN DRAWINGS
Published on Mar 11, 2014