- A great artist who has never been afraid of critics and daring creative experiments
- Biography of Luca Giordano
- Giordano married Margaret Dardi
- In 1681-1685, the master spent most of his time in Florence, where he completed several large orders:
- Among the most significant works of the Spanish period are:
A great artist who has never been afraid of critics and daring creative experiments
Luca Giordano was a famous Italian painter of the 17th century who worked in the late Baroque style. Giordano is one of the greatest exponents of Neapolitan painting of all time and an extremely prolific master. Over a long career, he created more than 1000 paintings, the masterpieces of his work adorn dozens of museums in Europe today. And the artist’s biography is full of numerous travels to the cities of Italy, Spain and France.
Luca Giordano also created a huge number of frescoes for Catholic churches and was distinguished by the incredible speed of painting. Among his contemporaries, he even acquired the nickname Luca Fa-Presto, which in Italian means “quick” or “hurry.”
Biography of Luca Giordano
Luca Giordano was born on October 18, 1634 in Naples in the family of a local artist Antonio and his wife Isabella Imparato. The boy’s first teacher was his father, whom little Luka helped to paint frescoes at the age of 6. And after another 3 years, Giordano became a student of the famous José de Ribera, whom he helped in the workshop for the next 9 years.
In September 1652, after the death of Ribera, the young Giordano became an independent artist. The first surviving works of the master, written in the manner of Caravaggio and his many followers, date from the same period. But already in the early 1660s, Luca’s style changed under the influence of the work of Michelangelo, Raffaello Santi, Rubens and other masters, whose masterpieces he met during several trips to Rome and Venice.
Giordano married Margaret Dardi
In 1658, Giordano married Margaret Dardi and began to live separately from his parents. By that time, he had already become a popular master of painting not only in his native Naples, but also far beyond its borders. Customers were attracted by the amazing speed of the artist’s work and the relatively low cost of his services. Luca had a practical mindset, so he put painting on stream, hiring many students. Many of them later became notable artists, but none surpassed the teacher in terms of skill and influence on Italian art.
Since the early 1660s, Giordano, in addition to many small orders, constantly received large contracts to write a series of paintings and frescoes for the most influential Neapolitan nobles. At the direction of the Spanish governor, Count Bracamonte, he created murals for a number of churches, and for the D’Avalos family a cycle of paintings on mythological themes. The Venetian Marquis Agostino Fonseca invited the master to his home to paint six huge paintings. Flemish, Spanish and Italian collectors bought dozens of works by Giordano, made in the style of early classicism.
In 1681-1685, the master spent most of his time in Florence, where he completed several large orders:
- He created murals of the interior decoration of the chapel for the Corsini family.
- Made the frescoes of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi.
- He wrote a cycle of paintings on biblical themes for the del Rosso family.
During this period, the artist’s writing style again underwent significant changes. More transparency and airiness appeared in his paintings, the compositions became bright and light, but Giordano’s popularity only grew from this. A clear confirmation of the recognition of his merits was the invitation of King Charles II in 1692 to Spain, where the brilliant Italian worked for the rulers of Madrid for the next 10 years.
Among the most significant works of the Spanish period are:
- Frescoes of the El Escorial Monastery.
- Paintings of the interior decoration of the royal palaces in Aranjoues and El Pardo.
- Frescoes in the sacristy of the Cathedral of Toledo.
Returning to Naples in 1702, the artist continued to work hard, although by that time he had already begun to experience serious health problems. The painter’s workshop was so overwhelmed with orders that Luka’s students, for several decades after his death, completed paintings and frescoes based on sketches created by the great Giordano.
The maestro spent his whole life large sums of money on charity and helped financially less successful artists. He was an excellent teacher and brought up several dozen students. Ill-wishers constantly accused Luka of the absence of his own artistic style and imitation, but time put everything in its place.
On January 12, 1705, Luca Giordano died in his native Naples at the age of 70. His remains were interred in the Church of Santa Brigida, the vault of which is still adorned with unique frescoes by the great Italian master of painting.
The most famous paintings by Luca Giordano
Among the huge number of masterpieces created by the brilliant painters, it is not easy to single out a few of the best. And yet, some of the most famous paintings by Luca Giordano include:
- The Archangel Michael Defeats the Angels in Rebellion (1666) is a work in which the influence of the works of José de Rivera and Caravaggio is clearly felt. The characters at the bottom of the painting are depicted in a characteristic chiaroscuro style with an obvious opposition of light and shadow.
- The Triumph of Galatea (1677) is one of the most famous works of the Italian master in the Hermitage. In it, the lush Rubensian forms of the heroines are already clearly visible and there is no sharp contrast between light and shadow.
- The frescoes of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi (1685) are a grandiose cycle of murals describing the life history of the famous Florentine family in allegorical form. These works were created under the impression of the great masterpieces of Michelangelo and Raphael, similar in style.
- Solomon’s Dream (1695) is one of the best paintings of the late period of the artist’s work, in which a bright and light palette of colors prevails. The airiness of the composition is ideally combined with the sublime theme of the work.
Luca Giordano was a unique Italian painter who boldly experimented all his life and was not afraid of criticism. Fortunately, the great master always had many influential patrons, which allowed him to create with great pleasure and achieve tremendous success during his lifetime.