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Giovan Battista Amendola

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Giovan Battista Amendola

( Episcopio di Sarno 1848 - Napoli 1887 )


    Giovan Battista Amendola

    He initially trained with sculptor Antonio Busciolano. From the 1860s he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, where he studied under Tito Angelini, Stanislao Lista and Tommaso Solari.

    Around 1865, he moved to Rome where he came into contact with the purist sculptor Pietro Tenerani and where he began to compose refined bronze portraits, refining his technique more and more and gradually moving from academic taste to a more strictly realist one.

    His strong attention to the social question seems to come from his acquaintance with Achille D’Orsi and is expressed above all in the works presented in 1877 at the National Exhibition in Naples: Lo carrettiello, Il maniscalco and Caino e la sua donna. The Allegory of Autumn was sent to Paris the following year for the Universal Exhibition, definitively establishing his approval by critics and the public.

    The London sojourn: Neo-Pompeian and Orientalist subjects

    He took part in the Neapolitan Promotrici for most of the 1970s, but it was at the end of this decade that he stayed in London, where he met the painter of Dutch origin, Lawrence Alma Tadema, who brought him into contact with a painter of Dutch origin. On the one hand, the latter made him known to the English aristocracy and enabled him to receive a long series of commissions and private assignments, and on the other, introduced him to the neo-Pompeian theme and the revival of ancient Rome.

    This encounter led him to enliven his repertoire, which until then had been devoted to realist genre scenes, with themes inspired by ancient Rome. To this period belong several works of elegant and refined workmanship such as A Model of Mine in London and Portrait of Lady Brocke, but also Kimono, A Modern Vestal, Flora, Peasant and Ada.

    On his return to Naples he created several monuments and exhibited on several occasions. His works include: Pierrot, A Call to the Village, Signure pigliateve li cerine, Cain and his Woman, Autumn, Dogali. He died in Naples in 1887, aged just 39.

    Elena Lago


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