Oil on canvas
Period : Late XVII°-early XVIII°
Architecture and landscape : Gennaro Greco called il Mascacotta (Naples 1663-1714)
Characters : Sebastiano Conca ( Gaeta 1680-Naples 1706)
Dimensions : 30×55 inches
Gennaro Greco, called il Mascacotta :
Gennaro Greco began his career as a painter of ornaments and ceilings. He collaborated with decorative painters, among them Francesco Solimena. And the gilded ornaments of Paolo de Matteis’ paintings in the Church San Francisco Saverio, (more known today as San Ferdinando) in Naples are said to be his works.
However while studying Andrea Pozzo architectural treaty : Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum, written in the late XVII° century, he discovered the imaginary views knows as « vedute ideate ».
Self-taught, Greco quickly stated himself as a perspective specialist and played a key part in the spreading of landscape Italian painting. Indeed his architectural views that are both aerial and theatrical and built in an offset perspective have made their point in changing the tradition of the XVII° century « vedute ideate » as it had been been codified by Viviano Codazzi. The still and decorative atmosphere of his works contrasts with the dramatic scenes as seen by Leonardo Cocorrante. It is closer to Pietro Capelli’s style, more ornamented,and luxurious too.
All in all the color palette that Greco uses, running from pale green to blue-grey, along with the atmosphere of deep luminosity given by the painting, and the playing on chiaroscuro with the architecture of the constructions, all this foreshadows the XVIII° century capricci. The characters of Greco’s painting are, most of the time, attributed to co-worker. In this piece, the characters are by Sebastiano Conca (Gaeta 1680-Naples 1764), Solimena’s apprentice in Naples from 1693 to 1706.