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Nani, Mariano

Naples (Italy), 1725 - Madrid (Spain), 1806

Mariano Nani, arrived in Spain in 1759 as a painter/decorator for the Buen Retiro Royal Factory. Born in Naples, he was the son of Giacomo Nani, a less gifted still life artist who traveled with him to Spain. Information in different archives shows that he was an anxious nonconformist, dissatisfied with his work at Buen Retiro, which kept him from oil painting, “his main work”, as he said in 1769. His acceptance of Meng´s proposal that he join the staff of painters at the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Bárbara, where he was working as of 1775, must have improved Nani´s working conditions somewhat. The abundance of his pictures in public and private collections shows the appreciation Madrid society had for his painting, at least from 1762 on. In addition to training other painters from Naples, he taught the subject to the Infante Louis, brother of Charles III, and achieved the title of Academic of Merit at the Academy of San Fernando in 1764. Toward the end of his life, in 1794, he failed in his attempt to become Assistant Director of Painting at the Academy. Undoubtedly, this failure was due to his advance age and delicate health, as well as the fact that he specialized in works that did not include the human figure, a principal element in the academic pedagogy. His best works show a mastery in capturing the appearance and qualities of objects, and reflect the influences of his father and other still life artists from Naples. His stay in Spain influenced his early training, especially time spent copying Flemish works in the style of Frans Snyders, Jan Fyt and Paul de Vos (Text drawn from Úbeda de los Cobos, Andrés; The Majesty of Spain, Jackson, Mississippi, 2001, p. 78).

Artworks (12)

Cacería del jabalí
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Nani, Mariano
Perro destrozando una jaula de codornices
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Nani, Mariano
Una zorra devorando aves
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Nani, Mariano
Cacería de jabalí
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Nani, Mariano
Cacería de lobo y venado
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Nani, Mariano
Cacería de un venado
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Nani, Mariano
Cacería del leopardo
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Nani, Mariano
Deer Hunting
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Nani, Mariano
Cacería de osos y ciervo
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Nani, Mariano (Copy after Snayers, Peter)

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