Neapolitan artist Luca Giordano (1634-1705) is heralded as the most prolific artist before Pablo Picasso. His quick production earned him the nickname “Luca Fa Presto” (Luke works quickly) and he was a favorite of patrons in Naples, Florence, and Venice. His skill earned him an invitation from King Charles II of Spain, whom he served for a decade as court artist, working in Madrid, Toledo and the Escorial palace. His early work, like Astronomy now at the Art Gallery of Ontario, shows the influence of Jusepe de Ribera and the dark, brooding tenebrism made popular by Caravaggio. His later works are more colorful and bright, showing the influence of northern Italian artists like Veronese.
Astronomy, c. 1653-1654 or 1680-1692?
Oil on canvas
Overall: 127.4 x 99.5 cm
Gift of Joey and Toby Tanenbaum, 1995
© 2013 Art Gallery of Ontario