Carlo Brancaccio was born in Naples in 1861. His parents encouraged him to pursue scientific studies, but around the 1980s he decided to take up painting. He met Edoardo Dalbono and trained under his wing, inheriting his chromatic knowledge, the luminosity of his palette and his preference for landscape painting. Initially, the imprint of Edoardo Dalbono and the Neapolitan school was truly preponderant, especially in the choice of a fast, loose brushstroke and the very clear direction of the palette.
A landscape with a loose, luminous brushstroke
The above-mentioned characteristics can be seen above all in the marine paintings of the 1880s, with which Carlo Brancaccio made his debut at the Neapolitan Promotrice. The Studio of 1881 is characterised by a freshness of interpretation and an evident adherence to realism, conceived in en plein air painting sessions. For much of the 1980s, he exhibited a series of subjects inspired by the light of the Bay of Naples at the Promotrici, following in the footsteps of his master.
Examples are From Mergellina, Sketches, Rainy day in Toledo Street, S. Maria del Carmine, Evening, The old Naples, Marinella. The latter work was exhibited in London and then in Naples in 1890, the year in which he also took part in the Berlin Exhibition with Impressions of Napoli, which received a jury prize.
At the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Rome in 1893 he sent Winter Marina, Amalfi street, Santa Lucia and Bassoporto, while two years later at the Venice Biennale he exhibited Impression, and in Berlin People’s Baths in Naples, Sorrento and River Sebeto. Amalfi Street, shown again in Florence in 1897, was bought by King Umberto, while the Empress of Russia bought Sad times, exhibited at the Italian Art Exhibition in St Petersburg in 1898.
Success in the foreign market
He exhibited in Naples until the 1910s, but made frequent trips to Paris, presenting himself successfully to the European market, especially the French and English markets. His favourite subjects remained Neapolitan seascapes and landscapes, which were of great interest to foreign collectors, but there were also impressions from the Parisian landscape.
In the French city he gradually developed a faster and more dynamic style, with a decidedly Impressionist brushstroke. The cuts of the views are often bold and close, the themes more related to international taste, aroused not only by his contact with Paris, but also by his frequent stays in Venice.
The result is views such as Boulevard, San Marco square, Provence Landscape, Gondola, Vieille coau à Cluny and Sous la cascade, Sketch of Paris.