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Italia • 1634−1705

Luca Giordano for 9 years he studied at the jusepe Ribera in Naples, and then studied in Rome under the guidance of Pietro da Cortona and completed his education by copying the works of Raphael and Michelangelo. Later worked in Bologna, Paris and Florence, in 1692, was invited by king Charles II in Spain and wrote in the Escorial, Madrid and Toledo. They executed many frescoes and paintings, and there is hardly in Europe picture gallery in which there would be samples of his paintings. The rapidity with which he worked, was nicknamed Luca FA-Presto.

The Italian artist. The art of this Neapolitan painter was influenced by the painting of the XVIII century. He belonged to the circle of masters, a lot of travel around Italy, carried out a large number of orders, was well known in the courts of Italy and abroad. For the speed and the number of jobs created was nicknamed "Fa presto" ("Doing fast").

Giordano was born in Naples and in his youth was influenced by the Spaniard Ribera H., follower of the scenic reform of Caravaggio. In the early works — a series of paintings of Philosophers (Brescia, Pinacoteca, Tosio-Martinengo; Rome, NAT. gallery; St. Petersburg, State. The Hermitage), half-figures of beggars, tramps attributes of ancient thinkers sometimes look grotesque in contrast to such "portraits-types" Ribera. Strong caravaggisti opaque chiaroscuro modeled their sturdy shape, protruding from the dark background. Painting techniques of caravaggism (effects of artificial light, a dynamic distribution of light and shade) are also present in other early works: Apollo and Marsyas, the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence (both — Moscow, GOS. Museum of fine arts. A. S. Pushkin), The Forge Of Vulcan (St. Petersburg GOS. The Hermitage). However, the subjects treated with a certain superficiality, less emotionally than in Caravaggio and Ribera, the characters of scenes from the Scriptures and mythology look more cold.

From Naples, Giordano went to Rome (early 1650s), Florence, Bologna, Parma, Venice (1650-e, 1667). In Rome he was impressed by its Grand scale illusionist Baroque architectural perspectives by Pietro da Cortona, in Venice, Veronese and Titian. From the Neapolitan artist masters of Venice took techniques strong contrast of light and shade ("tenebrism" — ital. tenebroso), and Giordano, here received orders for paintings of churches, tried to discover the secrets of the luminous colouring of the Venetians, soft plastic to imitate their stroke, spatial, light-filled compositions of Veronese in the large decorative cycles (painting Alessandro Ricciardi in Florence). His images in easel paintings on subjects from the Holy Scriptures (the Madonna of the baldachin, Rome, NAT. gallery) or mythological subjects (the Dream of Bacchus, Saint-Petersburg, GOS. The Hermitage; the Love and the vices disarm Justice, Moscow, GOS. Museum of fine arts. A. S. Pushkin) is secular in spirit, carry the tinge of sensual grace, anticipating the Rococo. In decorative fresco paintings of him are not fascinated by the construction of complex architectural perspectives, little, floating in the fathomless sky figures mainly concentrated on the sides, leaving the empty celestial space in the Central part of the ceiling. Sometimes the allegorical content of his paintings is more complicated, as in the frescoes of the Royal Palace in Madrid and the Cathedral of Toledo, executed during his stay in Spain, but his paintings always carries an atmosphere of festivity, anticipation of the art of Venetian "virtuosos" of the XVIII century, secular interpretation of the allegory in the age of Enlightenment. Late cycle of easel paintings on the theme of the Story of Judith (1704, Naples, NAT. the Museum and galleries of Capodimonte), perhaps the most dramatic work of Giordano. Painting dynamic brushstroke, a stormy expression in the expression of feelings of the characters, as always in the artist's works seem somewhat superficial.

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