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Michele Cammarano
MICHELE CAMMARANO, Male Nude, 1860 ca, Oil on canvas

1860 ca

$46,342.35

About

Even if placed in one of the poses conventionally adopted in the Academy for exercises in copying nudes, the elderly model treated here is studied with the anatomic sensibility to hold a subject independent of didactic training to become instead the heartfelt meditation of an artist on a body of austere old age, analyzed in all its particularities without transcending them. A study that avails itself of a painting dense with emotions and staged in balanced alternations of light and shadow capable of making one perceive the rough complexion of the elderly model, and also in the sensitive range of intense colors of reproducing in the most faithful way the “physiology” that for the followers of Realism was the term that represented the objective antithesis to the spirituality of the Purists. It is clear, in fact, that the painting belongs in the framework of a poetic naturalism characterized by neo-17th century influences that, starting from the mid-18th century, constituted the most effective means to add to art during the crisis of Romanticism even inconvenient aspects of reality, that Caravaggio and his followers in fact taught to observe and freely depict. An interesting and potentially definitive clue for the attribution of this painting is a sketch representing Saint Jerome, correctly attributed to Michele Cammarano, in which one seems to find again the same elderly model as in our painting more emaciated to allude to the rigors of being a hermit but very similar in physiognomy, enough to assume the man was probably a model frequently present in the atelier of the Neapolitan artist, the same that in the character of a beggar is included in the background in front of a door with a sign on which is written “Painting studio”. Trained in the course of the “School of Posillipo” and in the landscapes of Palizzi, from 1853 Cammarano decided to approach figure studies under the guidance of Giuseppe Macinelli: a choice motivated by his desire to broaden his cultural horizons to include the themes of historic painting and figurative sources more consonant with the contemporary vision of reality, discovering as such in Caravaggio and lesser known 17th century painters, from Micco Spadaro to Aniello Falcone, unexpected testimonies of a vital and dramatic working-class life. During the 1860s emerged paintings that better reflected this growing interest in social themes-“Leisure and work” (1863), “Poor people’s resources” (1867), “Encouraging vice” (1867)-treated with a style of notable formal liberty that caused worried critics to write “painting like that of a certain school beyond the Alps […] is placed in service of ideas humanitarian, socialist and democratic” together with these appeared inevitably the name of the “damned” Courbet. Cammarano had the opportunity to know, also personally, the talked-about French artist and his vigorously social painting on a trip that brought him to Paris in 1870, an occasion on which he was also enthusiastic about the “Raft of the Medusa” of Gericault, admired for the “intonation” and “bold design”, while in Courbet’s painting he appreciated “above all the nude, the frank interpretation of the flesh, fresh and colored, achieving the limpidness of light”. Completely relevant observations for this painting which, in fact, reveals a French “patina” in the controlled balance between examples of baroque naturalism and the direct observation of reality, following a compositional process that Michele Biancale already identified in the works of Cammarano: “To be the equivalent of Courbet in Naples it was enough for him to revisit the substantial works of the 17th century”. Expertise by professor Carlo Sisi

Details

  • Creator
    Michele Cammarano
  • Creation Year
    1860 ca
  • Dimensions
    Height: 31.4 in. (79.76 cm)Width: 25.1 in. (63.76 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    Florence, IT
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU124026245082

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: Florence, Italy
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 2 days of delivery.

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