Bernardo Cavallino

(b. 1616)

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(bapt. Naples, 25 Aug. 1616; d ?Naples, ?1656).

Neapolitan painter. He was the most individual and sensitive Neapolitan painter of his time, but his career is somewhat obscure. About 80 paintings by him are extant, but only one is dated, St Cecilia in Ecstasy (1645, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence; a modello is in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples). Most of his pictures are small-scale religious works, peopled by exquisitely elegant and refined figures who evoke a feeling of tender melancholy. Their fragile sensitivity is in complete contrast to the earthy vigour of much Neapolitan painting of his period. Cavallino trained under Massimo Stanzione, but his style has more in common with that of van Dyck, whose work was fairly well known in Naples. He is presumed to have died in the plague that devastated Naples in 1656.

Subjects: Art.

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