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The Goddess Flora
Giordano, Luca -Painter-; Belvedere, Andrea -Painter-
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Giordano, Luca - Painter
Naples (Italy), 1634 - Naples (Italy), 1705 - Painter
Belvedere, Andrea - Painter
Naples, 1652 - Naples, 1732 - Painter

The Goddess Flora

Ca. 1697. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

The goddess Flora is seated on steps or a kind of dais, holding a cornucopia of flowers and distributing blossoms among the women gathered before her. This is a collaborative work between two Neapolitan artists, Luca Giordano -a painter very popular with the Spanish court under Charles II- and Andrea Belvedere. Belvedere is now believed to be responsible for the flowers, the minute and precise brushstrokes of which are completely unlike Giordano´s signature style, ruling out his role in their execution. Furthermore, X-ray analysis confirms the contribution of two hands: one, without a doubt, Giordano´s, characterised by the vigorous, prolonged brushstrokes applied to the figure of the goddess and her companions; and a second -completely distinct from Giordano´s- in the flowers, which were painted once the figures had been completed. This dual attribution is further supported by documentary evidence that proves the involvement of other studio artists in Giordano´s works, including Giuseppe Recco, Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo, Giuseppe Ruoppolo and Abraham Brueghel.Giordano´s collaboration with the artist Belvedere was particularly intense. Belvedere lived in Spain between 1694 and 1700, apparently called there from Naples by Giordano himself, and where, according to Bernardo de Dominici (a Neapolitan art historian and painter of the late-Baroque period), he painted for the king and nobles in the court. Little is known about the terms under which he worked for Giordano, or the activities he carried out in Spain beyond the small number of works that are attributed to him. In contemporary biographies of Giordano written by De Dominici and Filippo Baldinucci, both authors acknowledge their indebtedness to Belvedere for information he provided regarding Giordano´s sojourn in Spain.Art historian Giuseppe De Vito first attributed the flowers to Belvedere in 2002. A comparison of this painting with the two major works by Belvedere in the Prado´s Collection (P549, P550), dispels any doubts one might harbour about the authorship of the flowers in the painting. After examining photographs of the unrestored painting, Ferrari and Scavizzi concluded in 2003 that additional studio artists may also have contributed to the work. Their assessment was most likely based on the appearance of heavily repainted areas and not examination of the painting itself, which was in storage in a government building from 1931 for many years. However, following its restoration in 2007 by Isabel Molina one can clearly see that it is an autograph work in which the characteristic elements of Giordano´s style are evident (Úbeda de los Cobos, A.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 114).


Technical data

Inventory number
Giordano, Luca -Painter-; Belvedere, Andrea -Painter-
The Goddess Flora
Ca. 1697
Height: 169 cm; Width: 109 cm
Royal Collection (Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, piezas que siguen al casón, 1772, nº 957; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, pieza de paso al dormitorio, 1794, nº 957; Palacio Real, Madrid, pieza de paso al dormitorio, 1814-1818, nº 957).

Bibliography +

Dominici, Bernardo De, Vite de Pittori, Scultori Ed Architetti Napoletani., II, Stamperia del Ricciardi, Napoli, 1742, pp. 572.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del S. XVII en España, Universidad Fundación Valdecilla, 1965, pp. 378-380.

Ferrari,O, Una 'vita' inedita di Luca Giordano, Napoli Nobilissima, 5, 1966, pp. 129-138.

Ferrari,O, Una 'vita' inedita di Luca Giordano, Napoli Nobilissima, 5, 1966, pp. 88-96.

Espinós, Adela; Orihuela, Mercedes y Royo Villanova, Mercedes, ''El Prado disperso''. Cuadros depositados en Madrid. VII. Museo de América, Boletín del Museo del Prado, III, 1982, pp. 44.

Borrelli, G, La borghesia napoletana della seconda metà del Seicento e la sua influenza sull' evoluzione del gusto da Barocco a Rococò, Ricerche sul '600 napoletano, 1989, pp. 7-27 [19].

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº1186.

Nappi, E, Momenti della vita di Luca Giordano nei documenti dell' Archivio Storico del Banco di Napoli, Ricerche sul '600 napoletano, 1991, pp. 157-182 [161].

Jordan, William B., El bodegón español de Velázquez a Goya, Ediciones el Viso, 1995, pp. 148.

De Vito, G, Ancora sull' esercizio di Giordano e di altri pittori di figure nel genere della natura morta, Ricerche sul '600 napoletano, 2005, pp. 105-113.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 114-115 nº18.

Maurer, G, 'Las cuatro Estaciones. Primavera' En:, Mena Marques,Manuela B. Goya en Madrid : cartones para tapices 1775-1794, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2014, pp. 252-261 [256 f.7.15].

Úbeda de los Cobos, Andrés, Luca Giordano en el Museo Nacional del Prado: catálogo razonado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2017, pp. 325-329.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1186.
Giordano. / 1186. La diosa Flora con otras figuras. / Alto 6 pies, 6 lin; ancho 3 pies, 9 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 1186.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1972. Núm. 192.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 192.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 216.

Inv. Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1772. Núm. 957.
Piezas que siguen al cason [...] {14745} 957 / Vna mujer y vna cornucopia de flores coronada de las mismas y otras figuras de dos varas y dos quartas de alto y vara y quarta de ancho = Jordan

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. 957.
Pieza de paso al dormitorio [...] {21594} / dos varas alto vna de ancho Flora con varias ninfas escuela de Jordan

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1794. Núm. 957.
Pieza de paso al dormitorio [...] {396} 957 / Dos varas de alto y mas de otras dos de ancho: Flora con varias ninfas. Escuela de Jordan ... 2000

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed in red color. Front, lower left corner

Exhibitions +

Goya in Madrid
28.11.2014 - 03.05.2015

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Luca Giordano in the Casón del Buen Retiro
21.02.2008 - 01.06.2008

Update date: 26-05-2022 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

Other works by Giordano, Luca; Belvedere, Andrea

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