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Francesco Antonio Altobello



Altobello Francesco Antonio

(b Barletta, 1637; d after 1695). Italian painter. He received his first artistic training in the workshop of Carlo Rosa in Apulia, although his earliest known works, the Holy Family (1675; Barletta, S Maria della Vittoria) and a painting of the same subject attributed to him (Barletta, Pal. Monte di Pietà), reveal the influence of Cesare Fracanzano and Francesco Cozza. Altobello probably went to Naples during the 1670s and was certainly living there in 1687. Works attributed to him from this period are the Vision of St Ignatius (Naples, S Ferdinando) and a Visitation and Vision of St Francis (c. 1680; both Naples, S Maria la Nuova). They show his full acclimatization to the Neapolitan Baroque, clearly reflecting the monumentality of Giovanni Lanfranco, the tonal contrasts of Luca Giordano and the chiaroscuro of Mattia Preti; they represent the height of Altobello’s artistic development. Also attributed to his Neapolitan period is St Jerome (Naples, Pin. Pio Monte della Misericordia). Numerous canvases, listed in the inventory of Stefano Carrillo y Salsedo, Regent of the Royal Chancellery, are untraced, as is Danaë and the Shower of Gold, which once belonged to the Orsini, Dukes of Gravina in Puglia. Altobello’s last known works are the Vision of St Roch (1684; Montella, S Maria la Libera) and a Virgin and Child (1692; Bitonto, Pal. Vescovile). Both seem to indicate a stylistic regression, conditioned perhaps by the backwardness of the provincial climate in which he was then working.


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