Nicola Malinconico (Naples, 1663 – Naples, 1726)
San Guglielmo d’Aquitania
Oil on canvas, 130×100 cm.
In this canvas we see Saint William of Orange, better known as Saint William of Aquitaine, in meditation in front of the crucifix; the protagonist is accompanied by putti who hold up the weapons he wore in the saint with which Baschi and Mori fought, then laid down to retire to a life in prayer, in the service of God.
The atmosphere of the painting reminds us of the atmospheric suggestions and the compositional system of Solimena, to which our artist is certainly indebted. As often happens with Neapolitan painters, it is to Di Dominici that we owe almost everything we know about the Malinconico, the son of art who grew up in the workshop of Andrea Belvedere and in the shadow of the innovations of Luca Giordano and Massimo Stanzione; initially his production was dedicated to compositions of still lifes with vases of flowers, while in his maturity he opens up to more varied subjects, mostly devoted.
In 1693 he was in Bergamo, for one of his most important commissions: the decoration of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore; he will stay in the city until the following year, when he will return to Naples. In the last phase of his production he will look a lot at the Neapolitan experience of the great protagonists of the Emilian Baroque such as Domenichino, Reni and Lanfranco, but he will also pay attention to Cortonesque experiments and the studies of his colleagues Maratti and De Matteis.
Our reference: A05016