Capodimonte National Museum, Naples, Italy

The National Museum of Capodimonte is a museum in Naples, Italy, located inside the eponymous palace in the Capodimonte area, which houses several ancient art galleries, one of contemporary art and an apartment historical.

It was officially opened as a museum in 1957, although the palace rooms have housed works of art since 1758. It predominantly preserves paintings, distributed mainly in the two main collections, the Farnese, which include some of the greatest names in Italian and international painting. such as Rafael, Tiziano, Parmigianino, Brueghel the Elder, El Greco, Ludovico Carracci or Guido Reni; and the Neapolitan Gallery, which is made up of works from churches in and around the city, transported to Capodimonte for security reasons after the suppression of religious orders, and features works by artists such as Simone Martini, Colantonio, Caravaggio, Ribera, Luca Giordano or Francesco Solimena. The contemporary art collection is also important, in which Vesuvius by Andy Warhol stands out.

The Capodimonte Museum boasts 47,000 works of art that form one of the largest and most complex collections of medieval, early modern, modern and contemporary art in the world. In 126 galleries spread across 151,000 square feet, works of the great artists are exhibited such as: Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, Simone Martini, Giovanni Bellini, Colantonio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Jusepe de Ribera, Battistello, Luca Giordano, Mattia Preti, Francesco Solimena, the Carracci, Guido Reni, Lanfranco, Bruegel the Elder, and Van Dyck to name a few.

It all began with the Farnese Collection that Charles I of Bourbon, son of the King of Spain, inherited from his mother Elisabetta and took with him to Naples in 1735, with the desire to display it in this hilltop Palace. Construction of the Palace began in 1738, to function as a picture gallery and hunting lodge. Capodimonte is the only Italian museum that in addition to representing almost all the schools of early modern Italian art, can also boast works by contemporary artists such as Burri, Paolini, Bourgeois, Warhol, and Kiefer.

The Royal Park of Capodimonte, with its 300 acres and more than 400 plant species, is an unspoiled green space that overlooks the city and Gulf of Naples. Exotic species were planted here, including the first mandarin trees in Italy. It is the largest urban park in Italy, with roughly 1,500,000 visitors a year. Within the Royal Park you can admire the last baroque garden of sino-english design replete with rare oriental fragrances.

Majestically nestled within its Royal Park overlooking the Bay of Naples – Capodimonte offers a truly singular combination of artistic and natural beauty that is utterly unique throughout the world.

The National Museum of Capodimonte extends over the three levels of the palace of Capodimonte and the arrangement of the works dates back to the last restoration works that have been held since the early eighties until 1999: on the ground floor, but also taking advantage of the basement areas, there are services for visitors and some teaching rooms, on the mezzanine floor is the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints, and the exhibitions of the 19th century Private and the Apple posters, on the first floor is the Galleria Farnese, the collection Borgia, the Royal Apartment, the porcelain collection, the De Ciccio collection and the Farnese and Bourbon Armory, on the second floor is the Neapolitan Gallery, the Avalos collection, the room of the tapestries of Avalos and the section of contemporary art: the latter also continues on the third floor where there is also the 19th century gallery and the photo gallery.

Ground floor, basement and mezzanine
On the ground floor there are services for visitors such as ticket office, bookshop, cafeteria and cloakroom: there is also an auditorium capable of hosting conferences, screenings, simultaneous translations and live concerts, embellished on the walls with two tapestries from the collection d’Avolos. In the atrium, before the staircase of honor Jupiter that electrocutes the Titans, sculpture in Biscuit by Filippo Tagliolini, and a 1989 installation by Luciano Fabro entitled North, South, West and East play in Shanghai, in aluminum and iron, while in the garden, just before the entrance, a work of contemporary art, Southern Cross Southern Sign, by Eliseo Mattiacci.

In the basement there are two teaching rooms: the first, called the Sol LeWitt room, named after its creator, is used for meetings, conferences, exhibitions, seminars and concerts reserved for a young audience with an installation by LeWitt himself called White bands in a black room, while the second, the Causa room, extends over 700 m² and is mainly used for temporary exhibitions.

On the mezzanine floor there is the Mele collection: these are advertising posters of the Mele Department Stores, opened in Naples in 1889 by the brothers Emiddio and Alfonso Mele and donated to the Capodimonte museum in 1988. These represent an important testimony of the Neapolitan figurative language in a period between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century: the posters were commissioned from the Ricordi Graphic Workshop and the drawings made by artists such as Franz Laskoff, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Leonetto Cappiello, Aleardo Villa, Gian Emilio Malerba, Achille Beltrame and Marcello Dudovich. Also on the mezzanine floor, in the southern wing of the building, there is the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints, whose exhibition began in 1994: about two thousand five hundred sheets and twenty five thousand prints are collected, ranging from preparatory cartoons to drawings by authors such as Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni and Giovanni Lanfranco, of which about four hundred preparatory sheets for frescoes made in Neapolitan churches are collected, but also Pontormo, Tintoretto, Andrea del Sarto, Jusepe de Ribera and Aniello Falcone. The same rooms also display the collections of Count Carlo Firmian, purchased in 1782 and which collect over twenty thousand prints by Albrecht Dürer, Stefano della Bella, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and Rembrandt, and the Borgia collection, purchased in 1817, comprising eighty-six watercolors and Indian designs. There are also other collections, donated after the opening of the museum, such as that of Mario and Angelo Astarita, offered in 1970, consisting of four hundred and nineteen drawings, watercolors and oils by artists of the Posillipo school, among which Giacinto Gigante stands out, or state purchases such as the collection of sixty-four studies and reliefs by the architect Federico Travaglini. The mezzanine floor is completed by the private nineteenth century collection: set up in 2012 in the southern wing of the building, it collects paintings from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in seven rooms; originally these rooms, from 1816, housed the private apartment of Ferdinando I, to then be used by princess Carolina during the mid-nineteenth century and therefore intended for the cadet branch of the family of the dukes of Aosta in the first half of the twentieth century: with the establishment of the museum in 1957, the rooms welcomed the offices of the Superintendency, while, during the restoration works in the nineties, were brought back to their original architectural aspect, intended for museum use with the addition of Neapolitan furnishings, fabrics and curtains.

Room 1 is dedicated to the neoclassical current with works by Vincenzo Camuccini, rooms 2 and 3 collect Neapolitan landscapes by authors of the Posillipo school such as Anton Sminck van Pitloo, Gigante and the Palizzi brothers, in room 4 paintings of realism from the second half of the 19th century century with artists like Vincenzo Gemito, Domenico Morelli, Michele Cammarano and Giuseppe De Nittis, in room 5 works inspired by oriental art and in rooms 6 and 7 different donations from private individuals or artists such as Gioacchino Toma, Achille D’Orsi, Giovanni Boldini eGiacomo Balla.

First floor
The first floor is divided into the areas of the Galleria Farnese and the Royal Apartment: in particular, the Farnese Gallery includes the rooms that go from room 2 to room 30 where the Farnese collection is housed, excluding room 7, dedicated to the Borgia collection, and the 23, while the rooms from room 31 to room 60, to which room 23 is added, host the section of the Royal Apartment, characterized by rooms 35 and 36 dedicated to the Galleria delle Porcellane, from rooms 38 to 41 dedicated to the collection De Ciccio and the rooms ranging from 46 to 50 reserved for the Farnesian and Bourbon Armory.

Farnese Gallery
The Farnese collection gives its name to the gallery of the same name and all the works are sorted by area of origin in temporal sequence: the collection was started in the mid-sixteenth century by Pope Paul III, who collected it in his palace in Campo de ‘Fiori both ancient works, especially statuary from archaeological finds in the area of Rome as from the Baths of Caracalla, and modern, mostly pictorial works by artists such as Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, El Greco and Tiziano. With Ottavio Farneseand his son Alessandro, during the seventeenth century the collection was enriched with numerous pieces, thanks also to the donation, in 1600, of Fulvio Orsini to cardinal Odoardo and to the confiscation, in 1612, of the belongings belonging to some members of the Parma aristocracy and Piacenza, held responsible for a conspiracy hatched the year before against Ranuccio I Farnese. Therefore, works by artists such as Correggio and Parmigianino become part of the collection, alongside purchases from Roman palaces. Also, when Alexander became sovereign of the Netherlands, next to the Italian pictorial school was also added the Flemish one: however, according to some sources of the time, the monarch would not have been a careful collector unlike his father and mother Margherita of Austria. In 1693 the collection of Margherita Farnese, sister of Ranuccio was added. Later the collection passed into the hands of Elizabeth, and then to her son Charles of Bourbon, who when he became king of Naples transferred all the works to the capital of his kingdom: further expanded with new acquisitions also with amber objects,bronze, rock crystal, majolica and silver, the collection was housed in the purpose-built palace of Capodimonte. Over the years, however, the collection was moved to various buildings in the city until the end of the Second World War when a reorganization of the Neapolitan museums was decided: the statuary remained in the National Archaeological Museum, while the paintings were again moved to the palace of Capodimonte in the newborn museum, restoring the ancient Farnesian Gallery.

Room 2 marks the entrance to the Farnese Gallery and allows a view, with its paintings, of the prominent personalities of the Farnese family: many of the works present, such as the Portrait of Paul III and the Portrait of Paul III with the nephews Alessandro and Ottavio Farnese, are the work of Titian, whose collection of Capodimonte represents for the artist the most important and numerous both in Italy and in the world; there are also paintings by Raphael, such as the Portrait of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, Giorgio Vasari and Andrea del Sarto, as well as sculptures by Guglielmo Della Porta and a tapestry depicting theSacrifice of Alexander.

The small room 3 is entirely dedicated to the Crucifixion of Masaccio; this is not part of the Farnese collection, but was purchased in 1901 by a private individual as the work of an unknown Florentine of the fifteenth century and only later believed to be the central compartment of the Polyptych of Pisa that Masaccio had made for the Carmine church in the Pisan capital, then divided into various pieces preserved in other European and American museums.

In room 4 four charcoal drawings are collected: two by Michelangelo, one by Raphael and one by Giovan Francesco Penni belonged to Fulvio Orsini, and inherited, according to the will of the member of the Farnese family, by Ranuccio; the works arrived in the palace of Capodimonte in 1759, under Giuseppe Bonaparte, then transferred to the Royal Palace of Studies, constituting the main nucleus of the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints and finally brought back to the palace of Capodimonte. In the same room there is a painting attributed to Hendrick van den Broeck, Venus and Cupid, a copy of Michelangelo’s homonymous charcoal, exhibited by his side and the subject of numerous replicas also by other artists.

From room 5 the works are arranged in a chronological order and divided by cultural areas: among the main ones stand out two panels by Masolino da Panicale, the Foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Assumption of the Virgin, central elements of a triptych originally placed on the altar of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

Room 6 contains paintings from both the Farnese and Bourbon collections of Umbrian – Tuscan Renaissance artists, who show the pictorial novelties of the time, such as the use of perspective: artists such as Filippino Lippi, Lorenzo di Credi, Sandro Botticelli are part of it, Raffaellino del Garbo and Raffaello, with his Eternal youth work between cherubim and Madonna’s head, the main work in the room; the canvas by Francesco Zaganelli, with the Christ carrying the cross, departs from the predominant theme, closer to Dürer’s painting.

From room 8 begins that series of rooms, facing along the western side of the building, which already in the eighteenth century housed the first paintings of the Farnese collection: the ceiling of the room, together with that of rooms 9 and 10, still has decorative frescoes of the nineteenth century, then restored during the fifties of the twentieth century; in the room there are pictorial works of Venetian art dated between the XV and the beginning of the XVI century with artists such as Bartolomeo Vivarini, Andrea Mantegna and Lorenzo Lotto, all belonging to the Farnese collection, while works by other authors such as Giovanni Bellini and Jacopo de ‘Barbarithey are linked to Bourbon purchases. The canvases show all the innovations of the historical period in which they were painted, such as the chromatic refinement, the use of the aerial perspective and the key role of light.

Room 9 displays works by Sebastiano del Piombo, Giulio Romano and Daniele da Volterra, testifying to the fervent Roman artistic season of the 16th century; in the room there are also three paintings, Madonna del Velo and Portrait of Clement VII with the beard of Sebastiano del Piombo and Portrait of a young man by Daniele da Volterra, made on slate, an experimental technique used as an alternative to the canvas and the panels. The copy by Michelangelo of the Last Judgment painted by Marcello Venusti is also interesting, testimony of how the work of the Sistine chapel looked before the interventions of Daniele da Volterra to cover those parts considered indecent.

Room 10 contains the paintings of Tuscan artists made in the first quarter of the 16th century: they are Pontormo, Rosso, Fra Bartolomeo, Franciabigio, Andrea del Sarto, Domenico Puligo and Pieter de Witte, artists who will open the doors to mannerism.

Room 11 collects Venetian works: in particular the activities of a by now mature Titian such as Danae, Portrait of a young girl and Magdalene, of a young Dominikos Theotokópoulos, better known as El Greco, a pupil of Titian and court painter of the Farnese, and by Jacopo Palma the Elder. Of the first, noteworthy is Boy blowing on a burning ember, he works in a strong chiaroscuro key, with evident Caravaggesque accents.

Room 12 contains one of the most important collections of 16th century Emilian painting in the world, the result of the Farnese collection and confiscations against some Piacenza and Parma families who had hatched a conspiracy against Ranuccio Farnese; among the artists: Correggio, with its sacred and mythological themes and human figures with soft shapes and soft colors, Parmigianino, one of the protagonists of Italian mannerism and of a painting made of experimentations, Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli, Benvenuto Tisi from Garofalo, Dosso Dossi, Lelio Orsi and Ippolito Scarsella, the latter two with a characteristic fairytale and narrative streak. Some marble busts from the Roman era complete the environment.

Room 13 collects those works of artists who worked at the Farnese court in Parma, a place in full intellectual fervor during that period: in particular it is Jacopo Zanguidi, better known as Bertoja, with a Madonna and Child, and Girolamo Mirola, which is also joined by foreign artists such as Jan Soens.

Room 14 is the Gallery of Rare Things, commonly called Wunderkammer, or rather a sort of room of wonders that had the task of captivating and amaze visitors: in addition to the normal paintings, it collects those precious and rare works of what remains of the decorative arts of the Farnese collection, once housed in the Ducal Gallery of Parma. Among the works in the room: the Farnese box, made by Manno Sbarri with crystals engraved by Giovanni Bernardi, bronzes from various Italian and European schools such as those of Giambolognaothers with a typical Renaissance style, such as the David by Francesco di Giorgio Martini and the Cupid by Guglielmo Della Porta, and mannerisms, coins, ivory objects such as a tray and a jug by Johann Michael Maucher, Renaissance medals by Pisanello, Matteo de ‘Pasti and Francesco da Sangallo, enamels, including one depicting Diana the huntress Diana of Jacob Miller the Elder, majolica from Urbino, including a blue majolica set belonging to Alessandro Farnese, rock crystals, wooden micro-carvings and exotic artifacts and finds such as a hard stone Ranocchia from Mexico and the statuette of Huitzilopochtli, god of the Aztec war.

Room 15 contains only the paintings of the Flemish painter Jacob de Backer; these are seven works depicting the seven deadly sins, a trend very popular in the Flemish culture of the sixteenth century: the vice is depicted in the center of the painting and behind it scenes from the New and Old Testaments. The works were purchased by Cosimo Masi in Flanders and confiscated in 1611 by Ranuccio Farnese: when they arrived in Naples they did not enjoy much luck, so much so that they were kept in the deposits of the Palazzo degli Studi before being sold to the Chamber of Deputies in Rome, for embellish the walls; they returned to Naples in 1952, benefiting from a new revaluation.

Room 16 is dedicated to Lombard painting of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, with a not very significant collection, which saw its heyday in centers such as Cremona, Brescia, Bergamo and above all Milan: among the exhibited artists Bernardino Luini and Cesare da Sesto, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, and Giulio Cesare Procaccini, who with his Madonna and Child and Angel shows the signs of the rigid morality of the Counter-Reformation in sacred painting, where, however, the first signs of the Baroque are found; some busts of Roman emperors complete the room, originally exhibited at Palazzo Farnese in Rome.

Room 17 contains paintings from the Flemish and German areas; in particular, the two masterpieces by Pieter Bruegel the Elder are exhibited, the Parable of the Blind and the Misanthrope, representing two moments of the mature phase of the artist: purchased by Cosimo Masi, secretary of Prince Alexander, and confiscated by a Farnese family at a his heir, Giovanni Battista Masi, in 1611. There are also triptychs, such as the Crucifixion and the Adoration of the Magi by Joos van Cleve, with movable doors and rich in decorative elements, so much so that they seem to re-propose typical elements of Italian art, and a group of small paintings by Civetta depicting landscapes, already mentioned in the inventories of the Marquis Girolamo Sanvitale: other artists on display are Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen and Bernard van Orley, the latter with the Portrait of Charles V; most of these paintings are part of the Farnese collection thanks to the acquisitions of Cardinal Odoardo starting from 1641.

Room 18 is almost entirely dedicated to Joachim Beuckelaer: it is not known when or who bought the works, but these certainly belonged to the Farnese collection of Parma as early as 1587, as mentioned in some family inventories, together with about forty paintings that belonged to Duke Ottavio and Ranuccio, in that period in which still lifes and popular scenes such as those of markets and countryside, which the canvases propose, achieved great success in Italy. The only work that does not belong to Beuckelaer is Jesus among the children, by Maarten de Vos.

In room 19 the works of the exponents of the Carracci family, namely the brothers Agostino and Annibale, the main executors for the Farnese family, and the cousin Ludovico are on display: their canvases are conditioned by the privations imposed by the Council of Trent, even if they manage to find a new artistic solution according to which the artist must have a vision of reality in order to bring Italian painting out of that state of crisis.

Room 20 continues to collect works from the Emilian school with Annibale Carracci, this time present with a mature painting inspired by Greek myths such as Rinaldo and Amida and the river Allegory, Giovanni Lanfranco and Sisto Badalocchio.

Room 21 is entirely dedicated to the paintings of Bartolomeo Schedoni, an artist who linked his professional existence to the Farnese family, working for the family between Modena and Parma and assuring them of most of his works, even those that, after the his death, they were deposited in the shop: a scholar from Correggio, Federico Barocci and the Carracci, he made light the predominant novelty of his paintings, which he combines eccentric figures.

Room 22 is still dedicated to Emilian painting: the main work is that of Atalanta and Ippomene by Guido Reni, with whom Giovanni Lanfranco and Michele Desubleo approach; all the paintings present those themes and the style of the nascent baroque current.

Room 24 contains 17th century Flemish paintings with artists such as Antoon van Dyck and his Crucified Christ, purchased by Diego Sartorio for 1,500 ducats, Pieter Paul Rubens and Daniel Seghers: these are works belonging to the collection Farnese or subsequent purchases and which offer a comparison between the Italian and Dutch paintings of the period.

Also in room 25 the exhibition of Flemish painters continues, in particular of works that deal with views, a genre that, from the end of the sixteenth century, was enormously successful thanks also to the request of wealthy bourgeois who love to adorn the walls of their buildings with canvases depicting scenes of everyday life: among the artists exhibited in the environment Sebastian Vrancx, Gillis Mostaert and Pieter Brueghel the Younger with Winter Landscape.

Flemish artists are still found in room 26: this time, however, the theme shifts to still lifes, which will spread enormously throughout the seventeenth century; these are intimate depictions of familiar scenes with portraits of fruit, game, flowers, dishes and crystals as demonstrated by the canvas by David de Coninck Game and Animals or by David Teniers the Younger with Kitchen Interior.

Room 27 continues with the Emilian artists, in particular those influenced by the experience of the Accademia degli Incamminati: works by Ludovico Carracci, such as the Fall of Simon Mago, are on display, which opens the vision to a new conception of space and with signs of an early Baroque, Domenichino with the Guardian Angel, who instead remains anchored to classicism, and Alessandro Tiarini who continues to follow the style of the Caravaggesque school.

The late mannerist style of the late sixteenth century is expressed in the works kept in room 28 with Tuscan and Ligurian artists; important in these paintings is the use of color, almost giving a supernatural hue but still giving a soft and suffused brightness: the Pietà of Cigoli, Venus and Adonis by Luca Cambiaso and San Sebastiano led to the tomb of Domenico Cresti bear witness to this.

Room 29 houses works of different origins and belonging to different cultural classes, demonstrating that the Farnese family, due to internal disagreements, was no longer able to commission artists for paintings for their collection; the most representative of the room are the artists of Genoa, a city that lived between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a good artistic season: characteristic oils on copper by Carlo Saraceni on mythological themes and works by Orazio de Ferrari and Giovanni Battista Gaulli, while Landscape with the nymph Egeria by Claude Lorrain comes from the Bourbon collection.

Room 30 concludes the Farnese collection: it houses the works of Sebastiano Ricci, a seventeenth-century Venetian, one of the painters of the Farnese house in Parma who enjoyed the protection of Ranuccio; in the room also the Holy Family and Saints by Giuseppe Maria Crespi.

Collection Borgia
Room 7 houses the Borgia collection: it is a collection purchased in 1817 by Ferdinando I, owned by Cardinal Borgia who, during the course of the eighteenth century, collected, thanks to the various Catholic missions around the world, numerous artistic testimonies from the most disparate peoples, such as oriental and exotic ones. The works were preserved by the cardinal both in a Roman palace and in his home in Velletri, where he gave rise to a real museum, open to scholars and divided into ten sections: Egyptian, Etruscan and Volsque antiquities, Greco – Roman, Roman, Far Eastern art, Arab antiquities, ethno-anthropological artifacts from Northern Europe, Central America and the Sacred Museum, composed of works related to iconography and sacred liturgy. When the cardinal died, the works were inherited by his nephew Camillo Borgia and later purchased by the Bourbon ruler: the collection was then first exhibited at the Royal Bourbon Museum and later, in 1957, transferred to the royal palace of Capodimonte where, after long inventory works, three sections are exhibited, namely the Sacred Museum, the Arab Tuff and the Index.

The collection includes paintings such as Sant’Eufemia by Andrea Mantegna, the Madonna and Child with Saints Peter, Paul and Antonio Abate by Taddeo Gaddi, the Madonna and Child by Bartolomeo Caporali, the Madonna by Jacopo del Casentino, the San Sebastiano di Taddeo di Bartolo, the Virtues and scenes from the life of Jason by Giovanni Bernardi; and still there are objects of Syrian, Spanish, Burmese and French manufacturecomposed of various materials such as the Polyptych of the Passion, in alabaster, of the English school, glass, goldsmiths, enamels such as Pace di Nicolò Lionello, and ivories, such as the Byzantine Crucifixion of the tenth century.

Royal Apartment
Room 31 up to room 60, to which room 23 is added but room 35 and 36 are excluded, those from 38 to 41 and those from 46 to 50 house the Royal Apartment.

Modified in part in their original appearance both in architecture and in furnishings, they constitute the apartment that hosted Bourbon, French kings and the family of the Dukes of Aosta: the main room is room 23 which housed the dining room. bed of Francesco I and Maria Isabella of Bourbon-Spain, made between 1829 and 1830 based on a design by Antonio Niccolini with particular wall decorations reminiscent of the frescoes found at the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum and upholstery of the manufacture of San Leucio. Room 31 is called Salone della Culla because it housed a cradle donated by the Neapolitan subjects to the royals for the birth of Vittorio Emanuele III of Savoy: particularity of the environment is the marble floor from a Roman villa in Capri, Villa Jovis. Room 42 is the Salone delle Feste, originally designed to house the works from the Farnese collection and then transformed to fulfill the representative functions of the royal family: it is one of the few rooms to retain its original appearance, with decorations of Salvatore Giusti, in neoclassical style, marble flooring and crystal chandeliers. Room 52 houses the Porcelain Sitting Room: it is a sitting room made up of over three thousand pieces of porcelain built for Queen Maria Amalia between 1757 and 1759 by Giovanni Battisti Natali, originally placed in the palace of Portici and only in 1866 transferred to Capodimonte in a suitably adapted room. Room 56, created at the behest of Annibale Sacco and with a clear neoclassical taste, takes the name of Salone Camuccini and is so called for the presence of pictorial works created precisely by Vincenzo Camuccini, which is flanked by other artists such as Pietro Benvenuti and Francesco Hayez: it also houses a good number of statues. All rooms retain a large number of paintings by the most disparate authors such as Alexandre-Hyacinthe Dunouy,Claude Joseph Vernet, Antonio Joli, Francisco Goya, Angelika Kauffmann and Giacinto Gigante, as well as numerous furnishing objects such as porcelain, vases, cribs, musical instruments, sofas, chandeliers and fireplaces, the latter only foreseen in the representative rooms.

Porcelain Gallery
In rooms 35 and 36 they constitute the so-called Porcelain Gallery: composed of over three thousand pieces, of which, for reasons of space, only a small more representative part of the services of Italian and European manufactured porcelain is exhibited, in particular porcelain of Capodimonte, the Meissein of Sevres, with some pieces decorated with Naples, to Vienna and Berlin. All the works, except the Immaculate Conceptionpurchased in 1972, they come from the Bourbon collection; until 1860 these pieces were normally used, while later, starting from 1873, at the behest of Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum-building work began on the porcelains, edited by Annibale Sacco.

Room 35 displays the creations of the Real Fabbrica di Napoli, while room 36 displays the most important European manufactures: among the main works there is the Service of the Goose on whose dishes are painted views of Naples and its surroundings, while those no decorations are in storage, an altar set comprising six candelabra and a crucifix, a work by Giuseppe Gricci for the Royal chapel of Portici, a desk service, a chocolate service with a garland of flowers and then numerous vases, statues, risers and plates.

De Ciccio Collection
The De Ciccio collection is housed in rooms 38, 39, 40 and 41: it is a collection, ordered according to the original layout, of about one thousand three hundred pieces, mostly applied arts, including paintings and sculptures but also bronzes, ivories, majolica, porcelain and sometimes archaeological finds, donated to the National Museum of Capodimonte in 1958 by the collector Mario De Ciccio, who had collected them over the course of about fifty years of acquisitions between Naples, Palermo and various international markets.

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Among the various works, the ceramics are in Hispanic-Moorish style, Renaissance majolica, including a star tile from the Persian manufacture in Rey, the porcelains from Meissen, Vienna and Ginori; among the statues those of a Madonna and Child of the school of Lorenzo Ghiberti, San Matteo, in bronze, attributed to Alessandro Vittoria, while among the paintings a panel by Marco del Buono and Apollonio by Giovanni, already decorated with a chest. And still vases, plates, cups, among which some Chinesefrom the K’ang Hsi and Chien Lung periods, Renaissance bronzes by Andrea Briosco, Alessandro Vittoria and Tiziano Aspetti, Murano glass and archaeological finds such as Attic vases from the 6th and 5th centuries BC, rhyta from the 4th century BC and Italic sculptures and Etruscan.

Armory fernesiana and Bourbon
In rooms 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 the collections of the Farnesian and Bourbon Armory are exhibited: these are about four thousand pieces whose first set-up dates back to 1958 and of which they still retain their original appearance. The Farnesian collection includes mostly Milanese and Bresciaese weapons, but also Spanish and German examples of firearms, cutting and defense, tournament and war armor, pistols, swords, daggers and arquebuses, among which the Armor by Alessandro Farnese known as del Giglio, by Pompeo della Cesa, and an Italian wheel rifle that belonged to Ranuccio Farnese. The Bourbon series includes firearms, some from Madrid with Charles of Bourbon, others of Neapolitan manufacture coming from the Royal Arms Factory of Torre Annunziata to fulfill the needs of the Bourbon army, and hunting weapons made for pure recreational purposes such as a flintlock rifle belonging to Maria Amalia. To these are added weapons donated to Carlo and Ferdinando as carbines and rifles of Saxon, Viennese and Spanish manufacture, white weapons produced both by the Royal Factory and by the Steel Factory, the latter located in the Capodimonte parkfrom 1782: Carlo la Bruna, Biagio Ignesti, Michele Battista, Natale del Moro and Emanuel Estevan were the creators of the works. There are also oriental-made weapons and war models used for the artillery school, Italian carousel armor and seventeenth-century wars, swords of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, one of which probably belonged to Ettore Fieramosca, Italian firearms and European 18th and 19th centuries. Particular a plaster model depicting Carlo V by Vincenzo Gemito.

Second floor
The second floor is divided into the areas of the Neapolitan Gallery and the contemporary art collection: in particular from rooms 61 to 97, excluding 62, the gallery of arts in Naples from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century is housed, room 62 is dedicated to the tapestries of ‘Avalos and the rooms from 98 to 101 at the d’Avalos collection, while the contemporary art area occupies two rooms plus others which are on the third floor.

Neapolitan Gallery
The Neapolitan Gallery is made up of forty-four rooms and houses paintings, but also sculptures and tapestries, made by Neapolitan artists or personalities who are not local but who worked or sent works to the city and influenced the local school in a period between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries. The collection began at the beginning of the 19th century, both following the suppressions of the monasteries during the period of Napoleonic domination and by the Bourbon emissaries in search of works to be included in the royal collection, to continue again in 2008 thanks to numerous state acquisitions, donations, or, as happened between 1970 and 1999, for precautionary purposes, especially for those works kept in closed churches or in any case little supervised. The topics covered are therefore religious subjects, which embellished the churches, but also battles, mythological scenes and still lifes, more secular themes, often commissioned by private individuals for their bourgeois houses. The museum layout of the rooms tends to consequently reproduce the close relationship between the history and history of art in the Neapolitan area and southern Italy in general, with works commissioned both by the ruling house and by the aristocrats who made the Neapolitan capital an international cultural center.

With room 61 the Neapolitan Gallery begins: works of different types are therefore hosted, demonstrating the variety and complexity of the artistic creations of Naples, but also those works that have undergone restoration; the exhibition includes the Polyptych with stories of the Passion, in alabaster and Nottingham manufactured wood, a tapestry depicting the Deposition from the Cross and wooden statues by Giovanni da Nola.

Room 63 and the following two host works from the Campania culture ranging from the end of the XII century to the beginning of the XV: worthy of note are a San Domenico, a polyptych from a Neapolitan church, a marble object belonging to a candelabrum, and a tempera on panel with the subject Santa Maria de Flumine, coming from a church near Amalfi, which shows the Byzantine and Arab influences present in the Sorrento peninsula.

Room 64 shows the influences that the arrival of the Angevin dynasty and that of their courteous world has on Neapolitan art; in fact, the new sovereigns bring important redevelopment works to the city, with the construction of palaces and churches which must therefore be subsequently decorated. And the artists called to this work are inspired by Giotto, personally present in the city, and his workshop: this is the case of the exhibited in this room as Roberto d’Oderisio, with his Crucifixion and the Madonna of Humility and the Sienese Andrea Vanni with San Giacomo Apostolo.

Room 65 shows the influences of the Hungarian branch of the Anjou dynasty, in particular of Charles III of Naples and Ladislao I of Naples, the latter commissioning works from an anonymous painter known as the Master of Stories of San Ladislao: i two sovereigns, constantly engaged in military campaigns, favor the presence in Naples of numerous artists, mostly from Tuscany, such as Niccolò di Tommaso.

Room 66 is exclusively dedicated to the masterpiece of Simone Martini, San Ludovico di Tolosa who crowns his brother Roberto d’Angiò: the table, which still falls in the Angevin period of Naples, was commissioned by Roberto d’Angiò, to remember and celebrate his brother Ludovico who renounced the throne of the kingdom after joining the Franciscan current.

Room 67 houses works that mark the end of the Angevin reign in Naples and the beginning of the Aragonese one, with its pictorial innovations: Flemish artists, painters and sculptors very dear to Alfonso V of Aragon are exposed in the environment, but also Italians such as Colantonio with the Delivery of the Franciscan rule, San Girolamo in the studio and the Polyptych of San Vincenzo Ferrer, early examples of Neapolitan Renaissance painting, halfway between Italian and international style, with Flemish-Catalan influences.

Room 68 displays those artists who worked in Naples during the reign of Ferdinand I of Naples and Alfonso II of Naples, favored by the latter for the construction of the triumphal arch of the Maschio Angioino: these are Lombards like Cristoforo Scacco di Verona and Protasio Crivelli, Venetians, Sicilians, Dalmatians and Spaniards like Juan de Borgoña, but also Francesco Pagano and Pietro Befulco.

Room 69, with its works, shows the close relationship that was established at the end of the fifteenth century between Alfonso II and Tuscany, but also how Umbrian artists are highly appreciated in the city: works by Pinturicchio and Matteo di Giovanni are exhibited, fundamental artists also for the training of local painters such as Francesco Cicino, assiduous creator of polyptychs among which the Madonna and Child Enthroned and Saints stands out.

Room 70 marks the beginning of Spanish rule in Naples at the beginning of the 16th century: the works hosted demonstrate an important maturation of local art, represented here with artists such as Giovanni Filippo Criscuolo and Andrea Sabatini, who still go back to Umbrian-Tuscan painting mixed with the classicism typical of Raphael, or in any case artists who trained in other areas of Italy, such as Cesare da Sesto, present in the room with the Adoration of the Magi, will act as an intermediary for the innovations in Neapolitan painting; the Spanish influence is also affected by the painting by Pedro Fernández.

Room 71 contains an important collection of 16th-century marble sculptures, an artistic production in which Naples stands out particularly with artists such as Girolamo Santacroce and Giovanni da Nola: these are decorative elements of works previously housed in the church of Santa Maria Assunta dei Pignatelli and four high-reliefs from the churches of Sant’Agnello Maggiore and Santa Maria delle Grazie Maggiore in Caponapoli.

Room 72 displays the paintings of Polidoro da Caravaggio, a pupil and aide of Raphael, who trained in Rome in the first half of the sixteenth century and who will then work briefly in Naples as well: among the exhibits, the Andata al Calvario, the Deposition, San Pietro and Sant’Andrea, which highlight the artist’s original and disturbing character.

Artists such as Marco Cardisco and Pedro Machuca are found in room 73: the first is influenced by the mannerist influence of Polidoro and classified by Andrea da Salerno, clearly visible in the Dispute of Saint Augustine, while the second, author of the Death and Assumption of the Virgin, it is characterized by a painting with soft figures on somewhat articulated compositions reminiscent in some ways that of Rosso Fiorentino.

The relationship between Pedro Álvarez de Toledo and Tuscany creates an intense cultural exchange between Naples and Florence or Siena, clearly visible in the room 74 where they are exposed artists like Marco Pino, a student of Beccafumi, long active in the city, Sodoma, and mainly Giorgio Vasari, with the Supper at the Pharisee’s house and the Presentation in the Temple.

The main work in room 75 is Titian ‘s Annunciation, a rare example of Venetian painting in Naples and originally located in the Pinelli chapel in the church of San Domenico Maggiore. Also characteristic is the small room called 75 bis with two devotional paintings, namely Andata al Calvario by Giovanni Bernardo Lama and Pietà and saints by Silvestro Buono, the latter clearly inspired by the Flemish painters in vogue in Naples at the end of the sixteenth century.

In room 76 are presented large tables destined to be high altarpieces in a Naples that lived with Philip II of Spain a fervent period both of religious constructions and of decorations of existing churches but which had to follow the dictates of the counter-reform; among the artists who work on the realization of these works are Aert Mytens and Dirk Hendricksz, Flemish authors, Francesco Curia con Annunciazione, considered one of the masterpieces of southern sixteenth century painting, and Girolamo Imparato.

Room 77, with its works, marks the pinnacle of sixteenth-century Neapolitan art, with artists offering sacred representations that spoke clearly to the faithful; exhibited are: Scipione Pulzone, with his cold and purist painting, Ippolito Borghese and his brushstroke nuanced in the Pietà, Fabrizio Santafede, closer to popular culture, and Luigi Rodriguez; characteristic are the paintings of Cavalier d’Arpino, one of the last miniaturists active in Naples, especially in the Charterhouse of San Martino.

Room 78 is the exclusive preserve of the Flagellation of Christ by Caravaggio, a work that inaugurates the great season of the Neapolitan seventeenth century: the artist was active in Naples between 1606 and 1607 and between 1609 and 1610 contributing to radically transform painting sacred of the capital that up to that time is made up of saints, angels, crowns, in a simpler, more essential and gloomy one, which is also reflected in the alleys of the city, a reality hitherto ignored, throwing, especially starting from the second decade of the seventeenth century, the foundations for Neapolitan naturalism.

Room 79 houses the works of the so-called caravaggists, that is, those artists who in their works refer to Caravaggio, such as Filippo Vitale, Carlo Sellitto, who was born as an elegant and stylized painter to then fully embrace the new style, and Battistello Caracciolo, the greatest Neapolitan caravaggista, who still manage to find their own identity with an abstract and lively painting on the backgrounds, well demonstrated in the paintings on display such as the Ecce homo, the Christ at the Column, the Lamentation on the body of Abel and Venus and Adonis.

Rooms 81, 83 and 84 are intended for the cyclical display of prints and drawings kept in the Capodimonte museum: the choice of works to be exhibited takes place both on the basis of conservative criteria and to shed light on the drawing activity of the artists who orbited Naples; engravings made between the 17th and 19th centuries are also presented. The environment is characterized by an English-made cabinet and two oils on copper by Francesco Guarini.

Room 87 displays works by artists who worked in Naples at the beginning of the seventeenth century, a period in which the city churches were affected by important embellishment works that attract artists not only from the area but also from abroad, bringing life to life his golden age in Neapolitan painting: the main work of the room is Giuditta and Oloferne by Artemisia Gentileschi.

The rooms 88, 89 and 90 have an arrangement of the paintings that make them look like the chapels of a church adorned by great men: the artists present are those of the first Neapolitan naturalism, who follow the road opened by Caravaggio and its play of light on the background dark, although there is no lack of influences from Emilian and Venetian painting which became famous in Naples from the 1840s; among the artists kept Artemisia Gentileschi, Battistello Caracciolo, Simon Vouet, Massimo Stanzione with the Sacrifice of Moses and the Martyrdom of Saint Agatha, Pietro Novelli, Cesare Fracanzano and Jusepe de Ribera with the Magdalene in meditation, Eternal Father, Trinitas terrestris and San Girolamo and the angel of Judgment.

Room 91 displays one of Ribera’s masterpieces, namely the drunken Silenus, however there is no lack of paintings by Pietro Novelli and Francesco Fracanzano which open Neapolitan art to a European culture: the works of the so-called Master of the Annunciation are also characteristic. shepherds who deal with sacred themes depicted in a typical pastoral world, also appreciated in the rest of Europe thanks to the export work of art dealers such as Gaspar Roomer and Jan and Ferdinand van den Eynden.

In room 92, in addition to Francesco Fracanzano ‘s kitchen interior, the works of Matthias Stomer, a Dutch painter active in Rome, Naples and Sicily, are characteristic, who despite following the school of Caravaggio opens up to experiments: in his works, in fact, such as the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Supper in Emaus and the Death of Seneca, light, natural or artificial like that of a candle, which illuminates the dark environments in which the scene is centered, plays a fundamental role.

Room 93 houses the second generation of Neapolitan artists trained in the first decade of the seventeenth century, protagonists of a painting resulting from the Caravaggesque experiments, with the influences of the Emilian and European ones: Giovan Battista Spinelli, close to French art with his David with the head of Goliath, Francesco Guarini, with the use of clearly visible natural shadows in Sant’Agata and Santa Cecilia on harpsichord and angels, and Andrea Vaccaro, one of the greatest exponents of this period, with his paintings which mix the sacred and the profane, clearly evidenced in the Triumph of David and in the Adoration of the golden calf.

In room 94 there are numerous works by Bernardo Cavallino, an artist who managed to fully grasp the taste of the time by addressing collectors who preferred an elegant and narrative painting, made of small canvases created to adorn the Neapolitan palaces, with themes which refer to the poetic compositions of Torquato Tasso and Giovan Battista Marino, and which describe simple and everyday life; Johann Heinrich Schönfeld, a careful scholar of Cavallino is also exhibited in the same room.

Room 95 focuses on those artists who mainly operate between the thirties and forties of the seventeenth century, namely the various Micco Spadaro, Salvator Rosa, Aniello Falcone and Andrea De Lione, who open up to a new type of painting made of historical and mythological battles, therefore also suitable to represent martyrs of saints, in a little sacred setting.

In small room 96 non-Neapolitan still lifes are exhibited: these are representations of Bartolomeo Bimbi, Carlo Maratta and Christian Berentz, with slightly dull tones but which have enjoyed particular fame between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

In room 97 we continue with still lifes, this time however by Neapolitan artists: it is a genre very popular in Naples at the time thanks to the increasingly widespread influences of the Baroque that began in the mid-seventeenth century; fish, flowers in crystal and silver vases, fruit and citrus are therefore depicted and the main artists responsible for still life exhibited in the room are Luca Forte, Giovan Battista Ruoppolo, Giuseppe Recco, who are inspired by naturalistic painting, with colors Mediterraneans, Andrea Belvedere and Paolo Porpora, influenced by the nascent rococo artistic vein, made of a more delicate painting.

Room 102 is entirely dedicated to Mattia Preti, an artist who together with Luca Giordano represents for about a decade one of the most titled in activity in Naples: in the room there are two preparatory sketches for the frescoes to be made on the city gates as an ex voto for the end of the plague of 1656, and still canvases such as Return of the Prodigal Son, Convito di Assalonne and San Sebastiano, which show the particular lowered point of view of the author.

Room 103 is the prerogative of Luca Giordano in whose works he shows all the novelties of the nascent baroque current and which stands as an anticipator of the Rococo culture: and therefore large spaces, figures with a soft line with pink skin and blond hair are clearly visible on the canvases like the Ecstasy of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, the Alms of Saint Thomas of Villanova, the Madonna del Baldacchino, the Madonna del Rosario and the Holy Family has the vision of the symbols of the Passion.

Room 104 displays works of the Neapolitan eighteenth century with painters such as Francesco Solimena, heir of Luca Giordano, with his characteristic characters portrayed almost in a theatrical pose as can be seen in Aeneas and Dido, and also Paolo De Matteis, also from the school of Giordano, Domenico Antonio Vaccaro and Francesco De Mura, author of a more elegant painting than his master Solimena.

Room 105 is dedicated to the sketches of the major eighteenth-century fresco makers: these are testimonies of works that are sometimes not completed, such as the sketch of San Domenico revives the nephew of Cardinal Orsini, which Domenico Antonio Vaccaro creates for the church of San Domenico Maggiore, or lost in time, like Massacro dei Giustiniani a Scio, by Francesco Solimena; Giacomo del Pò and Francesco De Mura are also on display in the room.

Room 106 concludes the journey of Neapolitan painting from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century, collecting works from the last half of the eighteenth century which marks the advent of the Bourbons on the throne of the kingdom of Naples; the new sovereigns, as it is possible to notice in the artists exposed in the environment, abandoning the Neapolitan ones, except for Giuseppe Bonito, and open themselves up to artists with a more European breath: this is the case of Gaspare Traversi, author of an ironic painting, Corrado Giaquinto and Pietro Bardellino, with rococo paintings and mythological subjects.

Tapestry Hall
Room 62, also known as Sala degli Arazzi, houses the Tapestries of the battle of Pavia, made between 1528 and 1531, taking inspiration from Bernard van Orley cartoons and fabrics in Brussels as evidenced by the initials of the tapestry maker William Dermoyen: in 1531 they were donated by the General States of Brussels to Emperor Charles V of Habsburg and in 1571 they became part of the collection of Francesco Ferdinando d’Avalos, until 1862, when they were given as a gift to the Italian State by Alfonso d’Avalos and from there transferred to the Capodimonte museum. The seven works take the title of:

Advance of the imperial army and attack by the French Gendarmerie led by Francis I;
Defeat of the French cavalry; imperial infantry take over enemy artillery;
Capture of the French king Francis I;
Invasion of the French camp and escape of the ladies and civilians following Francis I;
Invasion of the French camp: the Swiss refuse to advance despite the interventions of their leaders;
Escape of the French army and retreat of the Duke of Alençon beyond Ticino;
Siege of the besieged and route of the Swiss who drown in Ticino in large numbers.

D’Avalos Collection
Rooms 98, 99, 100 and 101 house the d’Avalos collection, a private collection started in the seventeenth century by the Prince of Montesarchio Andrea d’Avalos who collected and commissioned one of the most important numbers of works by Neapolitan artists of the seventeenth century, and donated first to the Italian state and later to the Capodimonte museum in 1862: part of the collection is therefore distributed in the four rooms of the museum, according to the original layout. Most of the works deal with still lifes but also historical, mythological and literary themes: artists such as Pacecco De Rosa, Luca Giordano, with a large group of canvases, Andrea Vaccaro, Giuseppe Recco and Jusepe de Ribera with one of his masterpieces, symbol of artistic maturity, namely Apollo and Marsyas, on which Giordano himself bases his training.

Contemporary art
The contemporary art collection was inaugurated in 1996, however exhibitions of this genre had previously been hosted in the museum: in 1978 the exhibition by Alberto Burri had been presented, while in 1985 it was the turn of Andy Warhol, set up in that which at the time was called Salone Camuccini, later to become room 2, and chosen to host contemporary art events, a role that he played from 1986 to 1991 with the exhibitions of Gino De Dominicis in 1986, Mario Merz in 1987, Carlo Alfano and Sol LeWitt in 1988, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Luciano Fabro andJannis Kounellis in 1989, Eliseo Mattiacci in 1991, the year in which the cycle of exhibitions ended with that of Sigmar Polke, to allow the restoration of the museum; at its reopening it was decided for a permanent exhibition of contemporary works.

The gallery begins with three works made in situ, housed in three rooms: the first, called Untitled, by Jannis Kounellis, is created with jars, irons, bags and coal, the second takes the title of Clues by Daniel Buren, that is installations of colored adhesive paper on plasterboard and marble flooring, and the third is entitled Grande Cretto Nero, a panel by Alberto Burri in majolica and enamel. Other contemporary works are exhibited in room 82, and made with the most disparate materials, such as oil on canvas, bronze, iron, glass, painted wood and tempera, by artists such as Guido Tatafiore,Renato Barisani, Domenico Spinosa, Augusto Perez, Gianni Pisani, Raffaele Lippi, Lucio Del Pezzo, Carmine Di Ruggiero and Mario Persico.

Third floor
The third floor houses the continuation of the contemporary art collection, the 19th century gallery and the photographic section.

The section of contemporary art continues from the second floor: the installation created by Mario Merz, Shock Wave, made with iron, neon, newspapers, stones and glass, that of Joseph Kosuth, is housed in the room in the attic of the palace of Capodimonte., A grammatical observation, a writing on the wall illuminated by neon and mirrors and that of Carlo Alfano, Camera, with compasses in aluminum, graphite and neon. Among the other works, the most prestigious one is Vesuvius by Andy Warhol, to which are added the works of Enzo Cucchi, Mimmo Paladino, Hermann Nitsch, Sigmar Polke, Gino De Dominicis, Joseph Kosuth, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Luigi Mainolfi and Ettore Spalletti.

The nineteenth century gallery displays works by artists purchased or donated to the museum in the period immediately following the unification of Italy: they are both Neapolitan authors and others from different areas of Italy, so as to form a single language national figurative that is able to grasp the historical, social, naturalistic and cultural aspects of the period. The collection opens with the two most prominent personalities of the moment, namely Domenico Morelli and Filippo Palizzi, most devoted to naturalistic representations. Noteworthy is the trend of artists belonging to the Scuola di Resìna, such as Marco De Gregorio, Federico Rossano, Michele Cammarano and Giuseppe De Nittis. Characteristic also Gioacchino Toma concentrated towards understanding the moods, depicted with calmness and tranquility, Vincenzo Migliaro, Francesco Paolo Michetti, turned to scenes of popular life, Antonio Mancini, whose works have as protagonists the children of the people, and also Giovanni Boldini, Francesco Saverio Altamura, Giacomo Balla and Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo.

The photographic section was inaugurated in 1996 and is composed of fifty-two photographs by Mimmo Jodice which portray the protagonists of the Neapolitan culture phase from 1968 to 1988, with subjects such as Emilio Notte, Nino Longobardi, Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys.