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The Triumph of Bacchus
Finoglia, Paolo Domenico
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Finoglia, Paolo Domenico

Orta di Atella or Naples (Italy), 1590 - Conversano, Puglia (Italy), 1645

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The Triumph of Bacchus

After 1635. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

Paolo Domenico Finoglia was deeply involved in the creation of paintings for the History of Rome cycle at the Buen Retiro Palace. His participation includes this superb Triumph of Bacchus, a Gladiators’ Fight (Patrimonio Nacional, Inv. 10022324) and a painting with a very obscure subject traditionally known as Masinissa Mourning Over the Death of Sophonisba (P2280). This final work was even attributed to non-existent French artist André Leudel. The present Triumph of Bacchus was in the Museo del Prado’s Reserved Room between 1827 and 1838, and then hung in its main galleries until 1882, when it began a century-long loan to the Museo de Tarragona. It is difficult to clearly date Finoglia’s works from the History of Rome cycle, but they must be later than 1635, as he was then working full time for Giangirolamo II Acquaviva in Conversano (Puglia). His biographical data -his early training with late mannerist painter Ippolito Borghese, his posterior employment at Battistello Caracciollo’s workshop and his perfect familiarity with Neapolitan colleagues Massimo Sanzione, Artemisia Gentileschi, José de Ribera, Francesco Guarino, etc.- are of little help in this question, as all of those influences emerged at different times without necessarily indicating a chronological succession in his paintings. Battistello Caracciolo’s influence is particularly clear in The Triumph of Bacchus’s violent shading and strong-featured figures. This work may have been part of a series of mythological scenes and images from Roman history, three of which presented Bacchus as their protagonist: the present one by Finoglia, Stanzione’s Sacrifice to the God Bacchus (P259), and a destroyed work by Ribera known only through a copy (Bacchus’s Visit to the Poet Icarus, private collection). Of the three remaining fragments of Ribera’s original exist, two are at the Museo del Prado. The meaning of this series and its relation to the group of paintings in the History of Rome series poses questions that have not been convincingly answered. Nor is it clear how a painter based in Conversano could have participated in a cycle carried out in Rome and Naples.

In recent decades, efforts have been made to establish the existence of a series of paintings related to the History of Rome -including the present work- that Philip IV’s representatives would have commissioned in that city and in Naples around 1634 for the Buen Retiro Palace. Today, twenty-eight extant works can be related to this project (most in the Museo del Prado or Patrimonio Nacional), along with another six mentioned in Charles II’s will but now lost or destroyed. This total of thirty-four paintings constitutes the largest group from the Retiro, including the Hall of Realms. The only larger group consists of mythological scenes that the king’s brother, Cardinal-Infante don Fernando, commissioned Rubens to paint for the Torre de la Parada. The size of the Roman group is the first indication of its importance in the new palace (Text drawn from Úbeda de los Cobos, A. in: El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2005, pp. 169-170; 204).

Technical data

Inventory number
Finoglia, Paolo Domenico
The Triumph of Bacchus
After 1635
Height: 231 cm; Width: 360 cm
Historia de Roma Antigua, Palacio del Buen Retiro, Cultos paganos de la Antigüedad
Royal Collection (Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, 1701; Buen Retiro Palace, "cuarto del infante don Luis-pinturas apeadas", 1772, no. 494).

Bibliography +

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del S. XVII en España, Universidad Fundación Valdecilla, Madrid, 1965, pp. 392-393.

Wiedmann, G.J, Die Malerei in Apulien zur der Gerenreformation. Beitrage zu einer kunst-geschichte der, Terra di Bari' und Terra d' Otranto' im 17 jahrhundert, Munich, 1977, pp. 139 n.125.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. 436.

Alabiso,A, 'Paolo Finoglio a San Martino' En:, Paolo Finoglio e il suo tempo. Un pittore napoletano alla corte degli Acquaviva., Electa, 2000, pp. 43-52 [48].

Úbeda de los Cobos, A., El ciclo de la Historia de Roma antigua, En: El Palacio del Rey Planeta, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2005, pp. 169-189 [170,176,180].

Úbeda de los Cobos, A., El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2005, pp. 204 n.40.

Sedano Espín, P, Estudio y restauración de dos obras de gran formato en el Museo del Prado, Congreso internacional de restauración de pinturas sobre lienzo de gran formato, Valencia, 2010, pp. 95-111 [101-106, 109-111 f.5-9].

Vona, F, 'Paolo Finoglio e le oscillazioni del gusto tra Napoli e Roma alla corte Acquaviva' En:, Veronese, Tintoretto e la pittura veneta. Capolavori del Palais des Beaux Arts di Lille., Silvana, 2010, pp. 51-53 [55].

Terzaghi, M.C, 'Per Paolo Finoglio e il patronage artisstico degli Acquaviva nella prima metà del Seicento' En:, Roma, 2010, pp. 237-250 [245-248 f.8, 12].

Georgievska-Shine, Aneta Silver, Larry, Rubens, Velázquez, and the King of Spain, Ashgate, Surrey, 2014, pp. 65.

Cleopazzo, N., 'Paolo Finoglia. Trionfo di Baco' En:, Artemisia e i pittori del conte. La collezione di Giangirolamo II Acquaviva d' Aragona a Conversano., Area Blu edizioni,, 2018, pp. 294-297 n.39.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1626.
Pablo Finoglio / 1626. Viage de Baco. / Dos panteras tiran de su carro, y le rodean grupos de jovenes y bacantes que llevan tirsos y racimos, y van bailando bulliciosamente. / Alto 8 pies, 2 pulg; ancho 13 pies.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 1626.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 158.

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos II, Buen Retiro, 1701-1703. Núm. s. n..
[493] Ottra [pintura] de quattro Uaras de largo y tres de alto con las fiestas de Baco entre los Genttiles lleuandole en Un carro Original de Pablo fenollo con marco tallado y dorado tassada en Sesentta doblones ... 3600

Inv. Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1772. Núm. 494.
Quarto del Infante don Luis - de las apeadas [...] {15201} 494 / El triunfo de Baco de quatro varas de largo y tres menos quarta de caida

Inv. Testamentaría Fernando VII, Real Museo, Sala Reservada, 1834. Núm. 71.
SETENTA Y UNO. Baco bencedor. / Anónimo. Italiana / L. / 5280

Exhibitions +

I fasti del Conte
14.04.2018 - 30.09.2018

El palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro
06.07.2005 - 30.10.2005

Displayed objects +





Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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