FRANCESCO DE MURA
Naples 1696 – Naples 1782
An Allegory of Autumn & an Allegory of Music
Oil on unlined canvas
75 x 62.5 cm
Nicola Spinosa, Pittura Napoletana del Settecento dal Barocco al Rococo, Electa Napoli, 1993.
These two superlative examples of Francesco de Mura work have only recently come to light having been known from two signed ricordi in a private collection. Although these splendid paintings have all the characteristics of genre pieces in a romantic vein, the inscriptions of the back of the ricordi, with Francesco de Mura’s signature, show that they are actually ‘Agnellus Nobilone’ and his bride. The Nobilione were a particular family from Sorrento.
Francesco De Mura was the most talented of Francesco Solimena’s pupils. His early work closely follows Solimena’s grand Baroque style, with whom he would collaborate and his work is often be confused for. In the 1720s, De Mura emerged from Solimena’s studio to begin independently executing major commissions, mostly ecclesiastical, in and around Naples.
We are grateful to Prof. Nicola Spinosa for confirming the attribution of the two works, and for pointing out another version, once thought to be Francesco de Mura’s pupil, Giuseppe Bonito, in the Santangelo Collection in Naples.