Ribera and his circle in Naples

Gallerie d’Italia - Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano
Intesa Sanpaolo's Museum in Naples
5 March 2016 - 5 June 2016

Exhibition curated by Giuseppe Porzio

Naples, 4 March 2016 - Reconsideration of some lesser-known personages linked to the art of Jusepe de Ribera in order to publicise the historical and cultural value of one of the most fervent periods in the art of Italy's Mezzogiorno: this is the objective of the elegant and refined exhibition-dossier that the Gallerie of Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano is dedicating to Neapolitan painting in the first half of the 17th century.

The exhibition, born out of a collaboration between Intesa Sanpaolo, the Fondazione Torino Musei – in whose central museum at Palazzo Madama in Turin the show was presented last December – and theDepartment of Human and Social Sciences of Naples "Orientale" University, is being reproposed in Naples in a revised and wider form thanks to the opportunities given by material present in the area. In this way recognition is given to the particular importance of the city that in recent decades has been the main laboratory for getting to know and appreciate the artistice heritage of the South.

The exhibition is centred on acknowledging Giovanni Ricca as the artist of one of the most fascinating and mysterious paintings of Italian 17th century art, Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c.1630), housed in Turin's Palazzo Madama and formerly belonging to the collection of the publisher Giulio Einaudi. A radical philological review, based on previously unsuspected links between works of art and partially known documents, many of which unpublished, has unravelled a complex critical question and led to the painting being attributed to the Neapolitan artist, unknown by the general public and probably unfamilair to many experts, but who it is becoming increasingly clear was one of the leading members of the circle of Jusepe de Ribera, known as "Lo Spagnoletto" (the Little Spaniard).

Starting from new critiques of Saint Catherine, the exhibition recreates a fundamental moment in Italian art of the 1600s, that was heavily influenced by the genius of Ribera, the great Spanish artist who arrived in Naples in 1616 as part of the entourage of the Viceroy the Duke of Osuna, and remained there until his death in 1652.

The intensity and variety of expression of his figurative language shaped the development of painting in the Viceroyalty's capital.

The exhibition includes three works from the permanent collection of the Gallerie di Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano. The canvasses by Francesco Guarino, the Maestro degli Annunci ai pastori and Hendrick de Somer, amongst the best examples of late Riberesque naturalism, integrated into a careful selection of paintings, allow comparisons and links to be made to better understand Ricca's artistic character. In addition, the display of two large canvasses stored at the Prefecture of Naples, from the Church of Santa Maria della Sapienza and inaccessible for years, are a continuation of Intesa Sanpaolo's commitment to the restoration and restitution of the city's artistic heritage. That commitment and effort is aimed at getting young people to use and enjoy the cultural wealth of the country through the use of different artistic media.

In that context, the Gallerie di Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano will be working with Comicon, International Cartoon and Animation Festival, scheduled for 22 to 25 April in Naples, as part of COMIC(ON) OFF, involving cartoonists/illustrators in some new creations inspired by works on show in the temporary exhibition.

Exhibition Information
Gallerie d’Italia - Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano
Via Toledo 185, Napoli

Opening hours
Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (last entrance 5.30 p.m.)
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (last entrance 7.30 p.m.)
Closed on Mondays

Extra opening days
27 March Easter Sunday
28 March Easter Monday
25 April Liberation Day
2 June Republic Day

Call free 800.454229 (Italy only)

Combined ticket valid for the exhibition and the permanent collection
Full €5 - Reduced €3

Press information
Intesa Sanpaolo
Ufficio Media Attività Istituzionali, Sociali e Culturali
Tel. +39 011 5555922 - +39 331 6270041