National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Annual Bulletin 1, 1977-1978

Annual Index
Author & Subject

Mattia Preti: The Feast of Absalom

by John T. Spike

Pages  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


16 Among these should be noted another representation by Preti of The Feast of Absalom (Museo di Capodimonte, Naples). From De Dominici's description, op. cit., vol. III, p.372, the Capodimonte painting was probably in the Neapolitan collection of the Duca di Severino, where it had the same pendant as today, Preti's Feast of Belshazzar. In this subsequent consideration of the theme Preti emphasized its cruelty and employed a severely limited palette with sombre values. From comparison with Preti's Conversion of St Paul (Chapel of France, Co-Cathedral of St John, Valletta), datable to 1667 by documents the author will publish in Storia dell' arte (1979), the Capodimonte Feast of Absalom was probably painted c. 1668.

17 "Chi va appresso al Calabrese non può errare la strada, che conduce a perfezione," De Dominici, op, cit., vol, III, p. 385.

18 De Dominici, op.cit., vol. 111, p. 352, quotes Luca Giordano making this same observation in a different context. With reference to the paintings of San Pietro a Maiella, Luca supposedly offered to accept them if the monks did not, adding, "essi sarrebbero stati per l'avvenire la scuola della studiosa gioventù."

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