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Francesco Lapegna "Neapolitan Royal Family", extremely important large miniature!!, ca. 1800
Price: ON REQUEST
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Clearly signed "F. Lapegna", this large miniature is an extremely rare (there are no auction sales records for this artist available in the last thirty years) and very important work (clearly painted from life) of well-known Neapolitan artist active at the turn of the 19th century - Francesco Antonio Lapegna. While otherwise (and primarily) known as a history artist (among others, he painted mythology-themed scenes in Royal Palazzo Reale in Caserta (summer residence of Neapolitan Royal Family), Lapegna demonstrates here also his skill of a portrait miniaturist (no other comparable works of his have been known to exist!), whose competence was strong enough to persuade the King and his family to pose for him.
We are dealing here with (executed between 1799-1801; one of the portrayed persons died in 1801) group portrait of King Ferdinando IV of Naples (1751-1825; CLICK HERE), his consort, Queen Maria Carolina, nee Archduchess of Austria (1752-1814; CLICK HERE), their eldest son (and Crown Prince) Francesco (1777-1830; CLICK HERE) and the latter's wife, Maria Clementine, nee Archduchess of Austria (1777-1801 (sic!); CLICK HERE).
The group is clearly depicted in the park of Caserta (we are certain that the painting session took place during Lapegna's stay at the palace (see above), during which he painted its frescoes).
We would like to add that, besides the famous miniature housed in Musée Condé in Chantilly / France (see our image nr.11), this work is the second most important miniature portrait of Neapolitan Royal Family (see also our images nr.12-14).
Francesco Antonio Lapegna was born in 1769 in Barletta, commune in region Apulia (South-Eastern Italy) and died in 1817 in Naples. He was a son of artist Giovanni Lapegna, from whom he also took his first lessons. When his father died, Lapegna began studying at Accademia del Disegno in Naples. There, he trained with famous German Neoclassical artist Wilhelm Tischbein (1751-1829; it is known that between 1787 and 1799 the latter lived in Naples, and that he was the Director of the local academy). Tischbein regarded young Lapegna as "the most talented" of his pupils at the academy. Similarly, from 1809 until his death, Lapegna too trained academy students. Apart from his frescoes in Caserta, his works can be viewed in several churches of Naples.
Provenance: private collection, USA
Condition: good; in original Neoclassical metal frame
Creation Year: ca 1800
Measurements:UNFRAMED:9,8x9,8cm/3,9x3,9in FRAMED: 18,5x15,6cm/7,3x6,1in
Object Type:Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on ivory
Inscription:signed: "F. Lapegna"
Creator: Francesco Antonio Lapegna
Creator Dates: 1769 Barletta-1817 Naples
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