Capodimonte Artists, Painters, Modellers
As with most porcelain manufacturers, the original staff of the Royal Factory de Capo-di-Monte were highly specialized. And well known. Although they relied on one chief modeller – Giuseppe Gricci, their painting artists were divided by specialties. Miniaturists, floral and flowers, landscapes, battle scenes, people, etc.
- Giuseppe Gricci
- Christian Adler
- Gennaro Fiore
- Giovanni Caselli – Artistic Director of Miniatures
- Giovanni Sigismondo Fischer
- Ferdinand Sorrentino
- Maria Caselli
- Luigi Restile
- Giuseppe della Torre
- Giacomo d’Avolio
- Nicola Senzapaura
- Giacomo Nani
- Ambrogio Di Giorgio
- Gaetano Smoking
*Some sources also mention Giovanni Caselli as the Artistic Director of Miniatures, but most credit him as painter of the “Royal Camera” and landscapes. He was an established miniaturist.
• Giovanni Sigismondo Fischer
• Ferdinand Sorrentino
Historical factory records indicate these two were the only miniaturist artists at Capodimonte during its initial 1743-1759 operation. They specialized in small flasks, smallwares, and, trinket and snuff boxes.
Fischer was from Dresda, (Germany), and was Meissen trained. During the Capodimonte period it was not common for artists to sign their work, so determining which painter might have done a piece was a matter of evaluating style – rather than looking for a signature.
The small scent flask above has been attributed to Fischer primarily because it was a miniature, and the style is deemed to be similar to “Northern Meissen-like” structure.
Ferdinand Sorrentino, the second Capodimonte miniaturist was from Naples.
• Giovanni Caselli
Noted as painter of the Capodimonte Royal Camera, (royal representation), He is also said to have focused on floral designs, flowers, and landscapes.
Caselli was an established royal camera and miniaturist prior to his employment at Capodimonte.
The C. was established young to Piacenza, where he had specialized, probably without a master (the family was very poor), as a painter of miniatures (nine miniature portraits on parchment were preserved, according to the testimony dell’Ambiveri, on accounts Germans Baldini, in 1885). With quadraturist Cremona Francesco Natali he worked on the decoration of the theater Piacenza Academy (1726-27), was destroyed, and probably also in an environment of Palazzo Farnese in Piacenza and castle of Sala Farnese Baganza. It is known that, although living still in Piacenza, worked for the court of Parma as early as 1723 as “the first designer cameos and engraved stones, the first miniature portrait of” the service of Francesco Farnese (Flowers). Provided the design for a portrait of the duke Antonio Farnese engraved by M. France (Piacenza, Bibl. Municipal).
• Maria Caselli
Niece of Giovanni Caselli and floral scenes, landscapes, and flowers painter. She was also noted for her chinoiseries, (French term, signifying “Chinese-esque” influence).
• Luigi Restile
Listed as a painter of designs with animals and battle scenes, he is probably best known for his work with Gricci and Fischer on the ‘Salottino di Porcellana’ (Hall of Porcelain) in the Palace at Portici.
• Giuseppe della Torre
Specialized in battle scenes, seascapes and landscapes, and animals. He was one of the original employees on G. Gricci’s team.
• Giacomo d’Avolio
Painted the designs with animals and battle scenes.
• Nicola Senzapaura
Painted village scenes with people.
• Giacomo Nani
Painted fruit and animals designs. *Nani’s style was described in comparison to engraving – “dry and detailed,” almost technical.
• Ambrogio Di Giorgio
Carver. Also an original employee under Gricci.
• Gaetano Smoking
Carver. This name has also been associated with the “Porcelain Room” in the Palace at Portici.
The “Porcelain Drawing Room” at the Royal Palace at Portici. (at right)
The room decorations were a combination of the same type of tiles Gricci used to create the porcelain cabinets mentioned above – with the same chinoiseries, and decorative floral, vines, and sconce pieces. It also includes Capodimonte-made chandeliers – of course.
*This room was later moved to the National Galleries at Capodimonte in 1866.
• Giuseppe Gricci
Capodimonte Chief Modeller – See full article
• See the history of Capodimonte porcelain and the Royal factory. From its start, to its move to Spain and back. – To current day.
You can see a detailed Capodimonte Italian porcelain Factory and Makers Marks Guide here: Capodimonte Factory and Makers Marks Guide
1. Giuseppe Gricci
3. UMUC Italian Studies
4. L’Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani.it
|Retired Capo di Monte Figurines|
True to their style, Capodimonte figurines are as distinctive as their vases and lamps. Frequently adorned with flowers, and portraying stylistic poses, they are one of the most collectible segments of Italian porcelains and ceramics.
Figurine values are as wide-ranging as their subjects. Excellent pieces have sold for as little as $7.50, and as expensive as $457.00. As with any antique collectible – the value depends on good timing and finding the right buyer.
Note:Even Sotheby’s appraisers have spoken of using ebay. (both U.S. and U.K.), as part of their appraisal process.