Museo Capidomonte, Naples, Italy, 8 x 10 in. oil on linen
The Museo Capodimonte in Naples, Italy is a wonderful museum at the top of a hill in a small park setting about a 30 minute walk from the historic center. While spending a month in Naples in June of 2013, I walked up there a few times, once to paint and of course once to view all the terrific artwork.
It’s a large collection, assembled from the various families who ruled Naples over its chaotic history. Of special interest to me were the collection of paintings by Jusepe de Ribera, but you can also see a Caravaggio, a Titian and works by innumerable Italian masters.
There was one incredible room with some pounce drawings for frescoes by Raphael and Caravaggio ( pounces are the preliminary drawings used to transfer the designs of murals or frescoes onto walls). Additionally, there are also some wonderful and grand decorative schemes and murals in a long series of rooms to meander through.
The day I was there, part of the museum was closed except for an hour a day ( the Ribera’s were in that section) because of budget cuts resulting from the fiscal crisis in Italy. But timing it right, I was able to see it all. Make sure you check beforehand in case there are closures.