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Luca Giordano | Court painter in Spain, 1692-1702

Luca Giordano** (1634-1705) was the leading Neapolitan painter of the later 17th century.
He was born in Naples and was trained by Ribera.
He was known as Fa Presto ('does it quickly') because of his speed of painting. His work influenced developments in 18th century art in Naples and elsewhere in Italy.
His style was formed by his experience of Neapolitan art (dominated by the work of Caravaggio), and by his knowledge of the leading Roman painters of the early 17th century notably Annibale Carracci, Pietro da Cortona, and the great Venetian artists of the 16th century.

This style was well adapted to express the drama and pathos of religious and mythological subjects in large-scale canvasses and frescoes, such as the 'Apotheosis of the Medici', Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence.
Giordano was active in Rome, Venice (1667), Florence (1680-2) and Madrid (1692-1702), as well as in Naples. | Source: © The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London.

Court painter in Spain, 1692-1702

In 1692 Giordano went to Spain at the invitation of Charles II.
He stayed there for ten years, returning to Naples in 1702, following Charles' death. While in Spain, he painted major decorative schemes at the Buen Retiro Palace, El Escorial, the sacristry of Toledo Cathedral, The Royal Palace of Aranjuez.
The Allegory of the Golden Fleece, a c. 1694 fresco on the ceiling of the Casón del Buen Retiro is one of the possible reasons given for the building having survived when most of the other Buen Retiro palace complex buildings were demolished in the nineteenth century, now it's an annex of the Prado Museum Complex that holds a library for researchers.
He also painted part of the frescoes at San Antonio de los Alemanes church and many pictures for the court, private patrons and churches.

His pupils, Aniello Rossi and Matteo Pacelli, assisted him in Spain.
Giordano was popular at the Spanish court, and the king granted him the title of "caballero".
His works can be seen all around Madrid, and The Prado[8] houses a large compilation of his works.
Not far from there, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando owns several of his works and in the neighboring Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum there is a Judging of Salomon long term loan, belonging to Baroness Carmen Thyssen Private Collection. | Source: © Wikipedia