Neapolitan still life painting, even though Italy’s most prolific “school” of the genre, has attracted little theoretical analysis. Where scholars have considered the genre almost exclusively in terms of stylistic developments and questions of attribution, this paper, alternatively, draws inspiration from insights formulated largely outside the field of art history: Umberto Eco’s characterization of still life paintings as “visual lists” and Michele Rak’s characterization of seventeenth-century literature in the Neapolitan dialect as “literary still lifes.” Building on these insights, this paper aims to explore the ways in which Neapolitan still life painting was anchored in local literary traditions and how, moreover, these literary traditions help us to understand the way in which these paintings resonate with the specific social and political situation that characterized Spanish Naples.
Riccardo Lattuada“Luca Giordano e i maestri napoletani di natura morta nelle tele per la festa del Corpus Domini del 1684,” in Capolavori in festa: Effimero barocco a largo di palazzo (1683–1759)(Napoli: Electa Napoli 1997) pp. 150–161: 150. The paintings come from the collection of the Marquis of Carpio in the inventory of 1687 no. 1407–1410. Our figure 1 was sold at Christie’s London 9/7/1993 lot no. 86 (as by Abraham Breughel).
Annamaria Ciarallo“Le scienze botaniche a Napoli tra ’500 e ’700,” in Napoli viceregno spagnolo: Una capitale della cultura alle origine dell’Europea moderna2 vols. edited by Monika Bosse André Stoll (Napoli: Vivarium 2001) Vol. I pp. 293–310: 301.
Giuseppe Olmi“Lavorare per i libri degli altri: Padre Matteo di S. Giuseppe, medico, botanico e disegnatore di piante, ‘qui nomine suo nihil edidit’,” in Belle le contrade della memoria: Studi su documenti e libri in onore di Maria Gioia Tavoniedited by Federica Rossi Paolo Tinti (Bologna: Pàtron Editore 2009) pp. 53–79.
Pietro GiannoneDell’istoria civile del Regno di Napoli (Napoli: Niccolò Naso1723) Vol. III p. 545 (= book 30 ch. 2); translation (slightly modernized spelling) from Pietro Giannone The Civil History of the Kingdom of Naples translated by James Ogilvie (London: s.n. 1729–1731) Vol. II pp. 475–476.