The picture gallery of Pio Monte della Misericordia

An art gallery in a historical lived apartment

Assembly Hall

Exceeded the first ramp of the monumental staircase, passing through the statue of David by Andrea Falcone (1674), you reach the first floor of the picture gallery. Welcomed in the great Hall of Assemblies, where twice a year the General Assembly of the Associates is held, composed of about 240 members, who meet to elect new Governors, listen to the report on the charitable activities and approve the budgets. The large hall is used, as necessary, for conferences, cultural events and charity concerts.

Riposo in Egitto (1751) by Francesco De MuraPio Monte della Misericordia

Rest in Egypt.
Francesco De Mura, 1751 ca

Among the most sentimental works of De Mura's production, the painting illustrates the Holy Family resting during the journey in Egypt. The almost bucolic scene, focuses only on one side of the composition where the three figures are gathered, who with a game of looks relate to each other. The close and peaceful setting, is given by the tenuous twilight, reinforced by some points of color: the rosy skin of the child, the usual pink and the blue of the clothing of the Madonna, the ocher of the mantle of St. Joseph and the red of the cloth under the pillow.Critics have compared the painting to the fresco done by the artist at the church of Nunziatella, in 1751, which offers a chronological point of reference.

Ritratto equestre di Carlo Tocco (1648) by Agostino BeltranoPio Monte della Misericordia

Equestrian portrait of Carlo di Tocco
Agostino Beltrano 1648 ca. (attributed)

Great and majestic, the portrait of an exponent of the Tocco family, attributed to Beltrano, is among the few seventeenth-century examples of official portraiture in Naples executed on the great Spanish examples. The character has an imperious and dignified pose, he rides a trot. Sumptuous and brilliant red feathers stand out from the hat, which reflect the saddle-cloth and the red band at the waist. The armor, the lace of the collar, the Golden Fleece and the boots, enrich the image with precious details
the painting is related to Massimo Stanzione's ways.

Ritratto equestre di Leonardo Tocco (1725) by Giovanni Stefano MajaPio Monte della Misericordia

Equestrian portrait of Leonardo di Tocco
Giovanni Stefano Maja, 1725 ca.

From the typical characters of official portraiture of the eighteenth century, this painting executed by the Genoese painter active in Naples in the twenties of the eighteenth century, was conceived as a pendant of the equestrian portrait executed by Beltrano. As a matter of fact, the character depicted in this painting on a soaring horse (this time) is a descendant of carlo tocco. Leonardo, Prince of Acaja and Montemiletto, Vicar General of the further Principality for Charles of Bourbon in the mid-18th century.

Adorazione dei Magi. (1520) by Girolamo Ramarino detto "Girolamo da Salerno"Pio Monte della Misericordia

I Anteroom

Adoration of the Magi
Girolamo Ramarino called “Girolamo da Salerno”, 1520 ca.

The work is the masterpiece of this painter who is inspired by the ways of Cesare da Sesto and Andrea Sabatini da Salerno. In the South they are protagonists of Renaissance mannerism, that has its origins in Leonardo and Raphael. The downward inscription of Jacopo Sannazaro suggests that the painting was originally in the church of Santa Maria del Parto in Naples.

Quattro rovine (1745) by Leonardo CoccorantePio Monte della Misericordia

Four ruins
Leonardo Coccorante, 1745 ca.

The artist, court painter of Charles of Bourbon, is one of the greatest exponents of painting of perspectives of the first half of the '700.
This continues the tradition of landscape painting begun by Francois de Nomé and Viviano Codazzi.
Stimulated by the ancient ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii, in these four views the buildings are framed with a lateral and grazing perspective rather than a frontal point of view. it is a new method inspired by the theories of contemporary scenographers, such as Ferdinando Galli Bibiena.
The view at night creates a suggestive atmosphere, emphasizes with clear cuts of light on time-corroded architectures

Sepoltura di Cristo (1608) by Giovanni BaglionePio Monte della Misericordia

Sepolture of Christ
Giovanni Baglione, 1608

Baglione, official artist of the Vatican, sent the canvas from Rome, paid 120 scudi. In this work he blends his sixteenth-century and mannerist formation with the naturalistic language of Caravaggio: despite the strong hostility between the two, this work is among the most Caravaggesque in the production of Baglione.

When the chapel was rebuilt, in the second half of the seventeenth century, all the paintings already placed on the altars of the first chapel were preserved. with the exception of that of the Baglione, the only one to be replaced: in 1671, the Government of the Pio Monte della Misericordia exhibited the Deposition of Luca Giordano.

Sant’Antonio Abate (1650) by Jusepe de RiberaPio Monte della Misericordia

Saint Antonio Abbot
Jusepe de Ribera, 1650 ca.

The Spanish painter is among the highest Caravaggesque expressions in Naples, in the middle of the seventeenth century.
Ribera depicts the saint half-length. as often happens in his painting he strengthens the expressive datum, especially in the face, with the eyes turned upwards and the lips parted.
From the dark background we can hardly recognize the iconographic attributes of the Saint: the stick and the bell. The Caravaggesque technique is carried to its extreme consequences by flashes of light that gather thick on the pictorial surface.

Storie di San Benedetto (1740) by Francesco De MuraPio Monte della Misericordia

Study of Governators

The hall was called the Hall of the Governors of the Cult and Hospital, because once the environment was probably destined to an office that took care of the Cult and Hospital of Elena d'Aosta.The office was managed by the Pio Monte della Misericordia until 1969. Nowadays the room preserves part of the sketches of Francesco de Mura and the precious gift of the Governor Fernando De Montemayor, with sacred furnishings and vestments from the mid-eighteenth century.

Stories of Saint Benedict
Francesco De Mura

De Mura painted the great fresco cycle with episodes from the life of Saint Benedict, between the years 1738 and 1746, in the church of the SS. Severino and Sossio in Naples. For this vast work, he executed fourteen sketches, now preserved at the Pio Monte della Misericordia and at the Capodimonte Museum.
De Mura already has a great pictorial maturity, characterized by great composure and academic rigor. Other sketches of the same cycle are the four Studies of Angels, monochrome, still preserved in the collection of the Pio Monte della Misericordia.

Scena di terrore (1755/1757) by Francesco De MuraPio Monte della Misericordia

Scene of dread
Francesco De Mura, 1755-57

The sketches were preparatory to the realization of the frescoes of the Sedile di Porto in Naples. This is one of the five civil buildings, in which the representatives of the constituency met, before destruction during the early 19th century. The paintings describe the people witnessing the divine intervention that saves San Gennaro from the first martyrdom. A third sketch, in respect of the willpower of the donator, was sold to carry out works of mercy. Nowadays it is kept in the State Museum of Stuttgart: it represents the main scene of the Saint who comes out unharmed from the furnace.

Old government hall called Crest hall 

This hall called “of old government” because until ‘70 of last century here governors met for decided on the charitable activities. Is called also “ hall of crest” for the symbol, with seven mountains overcome by a cross, reproduced on the floor.  All the canvas exposed in this room are made by Francesco De Mura, paintings and sketches bequeathed in the 1782 to Pio Monte to help, as stated in the testament of the painter,“ the needy gentlemen and the ladies”; is the most important of the collection,  testimony of the wide production of the main Naples painter of the second half of seven century. In the room are exposed also the silver sacred furnishings of Reale Arciconfraternita and Monte del SS. Sacramento of Spanish noblemen, and sacred vestments once of the Sanfelice family of Bagnoli.

L'Aurora e Titone (1763/1768) by Francesco De MuraPio Monte della Misericordia

Aurora and Titone
Francesco De Mura, 1763-1768

Preparatory studies, in two variants with fine differents, for the lost, excecuted in one of the bedroom of Maria Carolina of Austria and Ferdinando IV of Borbone in the Palazzo Reale in Naples. The composition show, in the light colors and in the figures without any emotional tension, the style of painter, here on the line between Classicism and Rocoro.

Ritratto della moglie del pittore (1735) by Francesco De MuraPio Monte della Misericordia

Portrait of painter’s wife
Francesco De Mura, 1735 ca.

One of the most famous portrait of neapolitan 700, with precise somatic features, but tipically related to the official portraiture, the women is Anna Ebreù, married with the painter in 1727. De Mura, althought remain anchored to a sort of Solimena addiction, very frequently in his portrait, start to underline a sort of luministica in the garment. Despised in painter testament ,professional laundres, De Mura depict her elegant and in aristocratic and precius behavior.

Incredulità di San Tommaso (1617/1620) by Dirk van BaburenPio Monte della Misericordia

Study of the Superintendent

The Superintendent is the legal representative of the institution and is elected among the seven current governors. The figure was introduced in 1843 without abolishing the collegial power of the seven Governors, who together decide on all activities. The canvases, almost all of them belonging to the seventeenth century, the desk, the two carved wooden bookcases that contain ancient volumes, make the room unified and collected as an office which is still used for official visits. In the office there is also the testimony of what remains of the Sacred Temple of the Scorziata (1579) through the exposition of the surviving silver belonging to this ancient work of charity within the city.

Disbelief of St. Thomas
Dirk van Baburen, 1617-20

Van Baburen, a Dutchman active in Rome in the early seventeenth century, like other foreign artists fully absorbs the lesson and the themes of Caravaggio , adapting them to his personal expressive means: the painting, in fact, is characterized by the accentuated gestures of the characters and the violent colors on the dilated surfaces.

La negazione di San Pietro (1625) by Maestro del Giudizio di SalomonePio Monte della Misericordia

The Negation of St. Peter
Master of Judgment of Solomon, Around 1625
Of unknown French or Belgian origins, the unknown painter, author of the Judgment of Solomon preserved in the Galleria Borghese, is one of the first foreign followers of Caravaggio in Rome who deals with the lesson of Merisi with the mediation of Bartolomeo Manfredi's "method". Particular attention should be paid to the rendering of lights on the woman's armor, embers and velvets.

Veduta della costiera amalfitana (1820) by Antoon Sminck PitlooPio Monte della Misericordia

View of the Amalfi coast
Antoon Sminck Pitloo, around 1820
Splendid example created by the Dutch painter, with the difficult watercolor technique. At the beginning of the 19th century, Pitloo inaugurated the great season of landscaping in Naples, and gave life to the famous Posillipo School, which will have among its greatest exponents the pupil Giacinto Gigante.

Veduta di Villa Borghese (1817) by Giovan Battista BassiPio Monte della Misericordia

View of the Villa Borghese
Giovan Battista Bassi, 1817

Bassi, who has Emilian origins, was active in Rome in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was friend with Canova and Camuccini. He approached foreign painting by painting ideal and aestheticizing views. The airy and defined landscape is the protagonist here: the small scenes of everyday life take second place compared to the careful, bright and clear view, rendered in the details of the plants, in the profile of the little temple in the background, in the immobile reflections on the pond water .

Il giuramento di Bruto davanti al corpo di Lucrezia (post 1788) by Domenico CorviPio Monte della Misericordia

Brutus's oath in front of Lucrezia's body,
Domenico Corvi, 1788

The scene depicts the Roman episode of Brutus' oath in front of Lucrezia's body, who committed suicide to escape the dishonor of the violence suffered by Sesto, son of Tarquinio the Superb. Following the same path of David and his oath of Orazi, Corvi organizes the scene with the exaltation of the exemplary Roman story, as for the usual trait of the neoclassical painting of the late eighteenth century in Rome.

Incontro di Giacobbe con Rachele (1652 circa) by Luca GiordanoPio Monte della Misericordia

Meeting of Jacob with Rachel
Luca Giordano, around 1652

Work of the second half of the seventeenth century, before the entry of Luca Giordano to the workshop of Ribera. It consists in a pure exercise on the great Venetian themes of the '500, studied, probably, from the canvases that the painter's father was haggling; the results, almost as a counterfeiter of the time, explain the unjust accusation made to Luca Giordano to appropriate easily the style of others.

Sant’Agnese (1640 circa) by Massimo StanzionePio Monte della Misericordia

Sala del Coretto

Awesome is its wholesome, this small room has a double opening: from the balcony it is possible to admire the spire of Cosimo Fanzago dedicated to San Gennaro in 1631, and the dome of the Chapel of the Treasure of S. Gennaro; in the wall opposite the balcony, a wooden wardrobe conceals a choir matroneum, which overlooks the Chapel, built to attend religious services. From here it is possible to admire a spectacular overview of the Chapel with Caravaggio's masterpiece. In this room, in addition to several seventeenth-century paintings, there is a showcase with a complete series of ancient sacred vestments, in gold filigree with floral decorations, donated from the Piromallo Capece Piscicelli’s family, belonged to Cardinal Girolamo d'Andrea, who lived in the mid-nineteenth century.

Massimo Stanzione, Sant’Agnese, around 1640

The couple was originally part of a group of four women chosen as saints - which are represented as half bust - a subject very dear to this painter who sweetens Caravaggism through the sentimental expression of the characters, offering a popular and almost sensual image of the two saints .These are images of martyrdom that do not incite horror, instead they want to induce meditation and prayer.

Sant'apollonia (1640 circa) by Massimo StanzionePio Monte della Misericordia

Massimo Stanzione, Sant’Apollonia, around 1640

Noli me tangere (1656) by Mattia PretiPio Monte della Misericordia

Government Hall

The hall is the testimony of the institution's ongoing commitment: as per the statute of 1603, every Friday the seven Governors sit around this table to decide on the activities that need to be implemented. The red armchair underlines the power and the position of the Superintendent. The General Secretary sits with them to verbalize the session. In the Historical Archive of the Pio Monte all the records of these meetings are preserved, from the foundation to the present, containing more than four hundred years of intense charitable activity in the area. The room also contains precious liturgical objects belonging to the Pio Monte della Misericordia, the Sersale family and the Royal Company and the Archconfraternity of the Whites of the Holy Spirit.

Mattia Preti

This group of four paintings executed by the Calabrese painter, is influenced by the Caravaggesco background updated by the Emilian painting and by the Venetian memories of Veronese. The paintings were certainly made after the painter's stay in Naples in 1656, when he became the sole spokesperson for local painting in a city which was ravaged by the plague.

La pietà by Cesare FracanzanoPio Monte della Misericordia

Pietà, Cesare Fracanzano, 1645

Trained at the Ribera workshop, Fracanzano demonstrates his knowledge of Roman baroque painting and the production of Lanfranco and Stanzione. The great monumentality and emotional beauty of these canvases show how the painter still keeps the echoes of the Master Ribera alive, however lightening the colors and the vivacity of the narration.

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