Paolo Antonio Onofrio Di Falco (Naples, 1674 -?)
Annunciation of the Virgin
Oil on canvas, 142×82.5 cm
We owe the few records of this artist to the pen of De Dominici, a very punctual chronicler of Neapolitan painting of his time.
According to the biographer, Di Falco was trained for a long time under Francesco Solimena, absorbing his lesson; from 1689 he was a cleric first and then a canon at the Cathedral of Cerreto Sannita.
His artistic production is closely linked to his spiritual life: many of his works are indicated to us by the sources as scattered throughout the Campania region, areas therefore probably touched by his monastic activity.
In this canvas the artist dedicates himself to the theme of the Annunciation of the Virgin: the event is depicted almost as in a dream, the room in which Mary was intent on praying has disappeared, replaced by a deeply Baroque “cloud machine”. The dark, theatrical tones make us link this work to a period of its production that is still influenced by the influence of Solimena; well before his late activity, marked by the influence of the more “classicist” and clear tones of the work of Paolo De Matteis.
Bibl.: B. De Dominici, Vite de’ pittori, scult. ed architetti napoletani, Napoli 1742-45, III, pp. 671 s.; C. T. Dalbono, Storia della pittura in Napoli ed in Sicilia dalla fine del ‘600 a noi, Napoli 1859, pp. 72 s.
Our reference: A05017