Nicola Vaccaro and Andrea Belvedere Allegory of Sculpture
Oil painting on canvas by Nicola Vaccaro (Napoli, 13 marzo 1640 – Napoli, 25 maggio 1709), for the figures, and Andrea Belvedere (Napoli, 1646-1652 – Napoli, 1732) for the still life, depicting Allegory of Sculpture.
Important wooden frame carved coeval to the painting, in green, gold and red lacquer.
The work is a magnificent example of Italian Baroque painting established in the late seventeenth century, figures such as putti, cherubs and ancestral scenes are typical of this culture in Rome, Genoa and Naples of the period. It is characterized by a strong decorative spirit, scenic and landscape. For the Baroque, in fact, the art has the task of striking the viewer at first impact, thus making it necessary to accentuate the curved lines and strong colored contrasts, often reproducing opulent foliage, flowers, volutes, festoons, drapery, animated by a fantasy always aroused and lively.
The painting represents the allegory of the sculpture with a play of three winged putti crowning the marble bust of the goddess Venus with orange flowers, roses and tulips, symbolizing the triumph of the arts, here of the sculpture, as a way of discovering the truth. All se in an archaic background with a large green curtain aimed at giving greater color contrast. The painting is the result of a collaboration of two artists exponents of the Neapolitan Baroque, Nicola Vaccaro for the figures and Andrea Belvedere for the floral apparatus.
Another peculiarity that makes the painting unique is given by the frame in which it is presented. Coeval to the painting, it too of purely baroque taste for the sinuosity of the lines and the strong colouring accent given by the red and golden green lacquers. The frame is entirely in carved lacquered wood. It also has two golden plates with engraved attributions passed to the painters Vaccaro and Belvedere.
The work is in good condition, with some scattered restorations.
We are grateful to Prof. Nicola Spinosa, as well as an expert in ancient art specialized in southern Italian painting, for having confirmed the attribution of the work on the basis of professional digital photography.
This attribution can be reconfirmed with the strong resemblance to the work n.84096 Fondazione Zeri, Soggetto Natura Morta con fiori, figure femminili, putti e busto marmoreo, Sotheby’s (Auction 1995 n.66).
117 x 137 cm unframed