The second largest city in 17th-century Europe, Naples constituted a vital Mediterranean center in which the Spanish Habsburgs, the clergy, and Neapolitan aristocracy, together with the resident merchants, and other members of the growing professional classes jostled for space and prestige. Their competing programs of building and patronage created a booming art market and spurred painters such as Jusepe de Ribera, Massimo Stanzione, Salvator Rosa, and Luca Giordano as well as foreign artists such as Caravaggio, Domenichino, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Giovanni Lanfranco to extraordinary heights of achievement. This new reading of 17th-century Italian Baroque art explores the social, material, and economic history of painting, revealing how artists, agents, and the owners of artworks interacted to form a complex and mutually sustaining art world. Through such topics as artistic rivalry and anti-foreign labor agitation, art dealing and forgery, cultural diplomacy, and the rise of the independently arranged art exhibition, Christopher R. Marshall illuminates the rich interconnections between artistic practice and patronage, business considerations, and the spirit of entrepreneurialism in Baroque Italy.
“In this sprawling book . . . the reader is treated to intrigue, competition, and even art fraud and foul play . . . a stimulating reality check that significantly and reliably sheds light on the artistic environment of baroque Naples.”—A. V. Coonin, Choice~A. V. Coonin, Choice
"That [this] book—a synthetic appraisal of this urban art centre at its aesthetic and commercial apex—is appearing in an English-language monograph is itself cause for celebration.”— Thomas Loughman, Art Newspaper January 2017~Thomas Loughman, Art Newspaper
"Offers a marvelously lucid, nicely concise summary of a great deal of evidence,” and concludes that it is “essential guidance for everyone interested in the study of Neapolitan art.”—David Carrier, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism June 2017~David Carrier, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism