Neapolitan Late Baroque

In Naples, Caravaggio’s work had a left a lasting legacy at the beginning of the 17th century, and the impact of early baroque realist art resonated well into the 18th century. Caravaggism had a strong influence on the Neapolitan school of the late 17th century, which produced key masters such as Mattia Preti and Luca Giordano. These high baroque artists paved the way for the reception of late baroque art in the city, and key artists such as Francesco Solimena (1657-1747).
Solemina’s works were characterised by dramatic light and shadow, bold composition and, realism, which linked virtuosity and subtlety with particular clarity. His style, which was more about baroque momentum than rococo lightness, inspired numerous followers, including Sebastiano Conca, who took the principles of his teacher and consolidated them in the form of early classicism. Solemina not only influenced his fellow countrymen, but the whole of the Kingdom of Naples, which was under Austrian rule in the early 18th century. The Neapolitans were the inspiration for Paul Troger and Danile Grans’ expressive late baroque art in Austria, and the work of Warsaw-born Bartolomeo Altomonte, who achieved a degree of success in Italy. But by the mid-18th century, although the Neapolitan school was still an important artistic centre, it had been overshadowed by Venice.