Giovanni Battista Caracciolo


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(bapt. Naples, 7 Dec. 1578; d Naples, Dec. 1635).

Neapolitan painter. He was one of the greatest of Caravaggio's followers, and his powerful work was an important factor in making Naples a stronghold of the Caravaggesque style. The decisive impact that Caravaggio made on him can be seen from his Liberation of St Peter (c.1615), painted for the same church (the Chiesa del Monte della Misericordia, still in situ) as the master's Seven Acts of Mercy. It shows how Caracciolo, unlike so many of the Caravaggisti, looked beyond the obvious trademarks of Caravaggio's work, aspiring to its depth of feeling as well as its mastery of dramatic light and shade. In 1614 he visited Rome and his later work is more classical in style, influenced perhaps by the Carracci. Unusually for a Caravaggesque artist, he was an accomplished fresco painter, and his finest late works are decorations in the Certosa di S. Martino in Naples, finished in 1631.

Subjects: Art.

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