Enfilade

New Book | Luca Giordano: Catalogue Raisonné

Posted in books by Editor on April 9, 2018

The English edition of the text is available from Artbooks.com:

Andrés Úbeda de los Cobos, Luca Giordano: Catalogue Raisonné (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2018), 400 pages, $65.

In spite of the huge number of paintings by this artist in the Prado, Luca Giordano (Naples, 1634–1705) is seldom studied and is therefore little known to the public, who often do not see beyond the cliché of his prodigious speed of execution. The present volume sets out to remedy this lack of knowledge. It begins with three introductory essays that set the Prado paintings in the context of Giordano’s life, survey the painter’s critical fortunes from his own time to the present day, and provide information on his Spanish period, which lasted from 1692 to 1702. These initial texts also look into specific issues, among them Giordano’s relationship with his dealers, and more controversial aspects such as the commercial strategies he used to disseminate his work.

The second part of the book—the catalogue raisonné proper—consists of entries for each of the paintings studied, including information on their provenance, condition, restoration history, related literature, iconography, visual sources and critical fortunes. It features a total of 99 paintings executed on different supports and in various media which span all the stages of his production except the period following his return to Naples in 1702.

Andres Ubeda de los Cobos, Deputy Director for Conservation and Research at the Museo del Prado. He is a specialist on Luca Giordano and has published various articles and books on the artist’s oeuvre, such as a study on the fresco of the Apotheosis of the Spanish Monarchy in the Casón del Buen Retiro in 2008—a project which, in a sense, has been brought to a successful completion by this book.

2 Responses

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  1. Thomas Willette said, on April 10, 2018 at 2:08 am

    How can anyone say that Luca Giordano “is seldom studied”? Perhaps the publisher is unaware of the multi-volume monograph-catalogue by Ferrari and Scavizzi (2nd edition 1992). Major monographic exhibitions of Giordano’s works have been staged since then in Italy, Spain and the United States. Scavizzi published a substantial new book Luca Giordano: La vita e le opere as recently as 2017. Giordano is unquestionably the best-known and most-studied Neapolitan painter of his generation.

    • Editor said, on April 10, 2018 at 2:21 am

      Thanks, Thomas, for the push-back and the additional references. I’m also regularly astounded at the puffery publishers employ. It perhaps stems in part from confusion about their audiences? -Craig


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