By Jennifer D. Webb

19th-century painter Giacomo di Chirico was born on January 27, 1844 in Venosa (Potenza). He first studied with his brother, Nicola, a sculptor but then received funds that supported two years of training in Naples. From 1868 to 1871 he was in Rome but then returned to Naples where he established a studio.

During his short career–he died on December 17, 1883–Giacomo exhibited throughout Italy: in 1874 at the Ferrara Exposition that marked the centennial of Ariosto’s birth; in Turin in 1875; in Genova in 1876; in Vienna in 1879; and in Monaco in 1882. A critic at the time described the artist’s work as too “commercial.”

Giacomo’s work was included in an 1974 exhibition at the New York Culture Center that highlighted 19th-century paintings from the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico.

References: Canaday, John. “A Hodgepodge of 19th-Century ‘Bad’ Paintings: Not so bad as they used to be?” New York Times. 28 July 1974: 105; Picone Petrusa, Maria Antonietta. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Volume 39 (1991).

Self-portrait (1800) (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

SS. Trinità, Venosa (PZ) (consecrated 1059) (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Further reading: Antonio Aprelino. Domenico Morelli: Salva Regina! Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino 2009; Domenico Morelli. La Scuola Napoletana di Pittura nel Secolo Decimonono.Reprint. London: Forgotten Books, 2018.

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