Giuseppe CASCIARO

(Ortelle 1863 - Naples 1941)

The Park of Capodimonte in Naples

Pastel on brown paper. Signed and inscribed GCasciaro Napoli at the lower right. Stamped G. CASCIARO / NAPOLI (not in Lugt) and numbered 19 on the verso. 242 x 398 mm. (9 1/2 x 15 5/8 in.)

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The Royal Park of Capodimonte, situated on a hill above Naples, is dominated by the Palace of Capodimonte, built in 1738 as the summer residence of the Kings of the Two Sicilies. The surrounding park belonged to the Bourbon Kings and was used for hunting, fishing and riding. As a 19th century guidebook noted, ‘Capo di Monte is a delightful hill, commanding a view of a large part of Naples...Round the palace is the park, or royal chase called Bosco di Capo di Monte. It is surrounded with walls, and has an extent of nearly three miles. A little beyond the entrance, five long and wide walks are seen, which advance into the interior of the forest, where they are crossed by other alleys from the opposite side...Statues, fountains, and cottages may be observed along each walk. At the end of the park there is a beautiful cabinet with a parterre, and a fish pound. This is intended to serve as a shelter in case of rain during the chase, which is rendered extremely pleasant by the quantity of hares, rabbits and game of every kind.’



Born in the province of Lecce, Giuseppe Casciaro enjoyed a long and successful career of some sixty years. He was a pupil of Filippo Palizzi, Gioacchino Toma, Stanislao Lista and Domenico Morelli at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples, where he won numerous prizes. Casciaro developed a particular proficiency for landscape drawings in pastel, although he also painted a handful of oil paintings. He may have first been inspired to take up the medium of pastel in 1885, when a series of pastel drawings by the artist Francesco Paolo Michetti was shown in Naples. Two years later, in 1887, Casciaro exhibited a series of eleven pastel landscapes of his own, and he remained devoted to the medium throughout his career. Indeed, he may be regarded as one of the finest practitioners of the art of the pastel landscape working in Italy during this period. Casciaro settled on the hillside quarter of Naples known as the Vomero, sharing a studio with the painter Attilio Pratella, and for much of his life his preferred subject matter were views in and around Naples and the islands of Capri and Ischia.

Between 1892 and 1896 Casciaro travelled regularly to Paris, where he had a one-man exhibition and received commissions from the dealer Adolphe Goupil. Appointed a professor at the Accademia in Naples in 1902, by 1906 he was also engaged as a tutor in pastel drawing to the Queen of Italy, Elena di Savoia. Casciaro exhibited frequently in Naples and at the Biennale in Venice, and won a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. His work was also exhibited throughout Europe; in Munich, Barcelona, Prague, Athens and St. Petersburg, as well as in San Francisco, Tokyo and in South America.

Giuseppe CASCIARO

The Park of Capodimonte in Naples