Synopses & Reviews
This richly textured study locates great works of the Italian Baroque within the social and economic context that produced them: a hothouse world of competing patrons, agents, artists and collectors.
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.