Naples:life,death &
                Miracle contact: Jeff Matthews

entry Mar 2012

Statuary, Monuments & Structures in the Villa Comunale

This is n.6, the last in a series. To part 1;   part 2;   part 3;   part 4;    part 5.

right: This is Gioacchino Toma (1838-91), a painter from Puglia. He associated himself with the move to unify Italy and fought with Garibaldi He is remembered as one of the "patriot artists" of the day.

The bust is by Francesco Jerace and was installed in 1922

: bust of Enrico Pessina by Luigi De Luca, installed in 1925. Pessina (1828-1916) was a jurist and political philosopher involved in anti-Bourbon activities for much of his early life. In the new, united Italy he was a senator and became Minter of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce. There is a major street near the National Museum named for him.

left: bust of Francesco De Santis (1817-83), the greatest Italian literary critic of his day. After the unification of Italy, he was the Minister of Education on various occasions. His
Storia della Letteratura Italiana was (and is) authoritative.
The bust is by Neapolitan sculptor, Achille D'Orso and was installed in 1893.

Below: Hercules Slaying the Nemean Lion,
copy by Volani from 1767

This is also by Violani, from 1760. This is the Satyr, Marsyas, Tied to a Tree. In Greek Mythology, Marsyas had the gall to challenge Apollo to a musical contest. The Muses judged the Duelling Flautists and declared Apollo to be the winner. Big Surprise. Apollo then tied the loser to a tree and skinned him alive. Some literary sources claim that this emphasizes the hubris of Marsyas in challenging a god and the justice of his punishment. Others say it shows that the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.

There are other structures
that enhance the beauty of the Villa Comunale. On the left is the Santa Lucia fountain. It was Commissioned by viceroy Juan Alfonso Pimente at the beginning of the 17th century and originally located on what is today via Cesario Console, the street that leads from the Royal palace to Santa Lucia. It was moved once, and then again in 1895 to its current location, here on the grounds of the villa. It is the work of Michelangelo Naccherino (1550-1622).

Naccherino was from Florence but particularly active in the Kingdom of Naples, including contributions to other "monument fountains". (See that link for a separate article.) The most obvious structure, of course, is the large Anton Dohn Aquarium (photo, right). (See this separate entry for details.)


To part 1;   part 2;   part 3;    part 4;   part 5.

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