chapter  2
31 Pages

Through a Glass Darkly: Material Holiness and the Treasury Chapel of San Gennaro in Naples

An analysis of the representation of street life in the eighteenth century allows us to uncover the continuities of particular images and their reproduction across a variety of media, including painting and engraving and as porcelain and presepe figures. The place of the nation, real or imagined, in the historiography, in turn, has distorted the history of the Italian peninsula, and perhaps explains the difficulties in trying to bridge the early modern and modern histories of Italy. The association between the city and its people has an earlier history in the genre paintings of the mid-eighteenth century. Of particular importance are the images by Filippo Falciatore and Pietro Fabris, two artists whose careers overlapped in the 1750s and 1760s. Falciatore was a student of the Neapolitan painter, sculptor and architect Domenico Antonio Vaccaro, who was also known as a maker of presepe or nativity figures.