Angelo Maria Monaco

Donato Decumbertino and Gianserio Strafella from Copertino. Painters of the Maniera moderna in the Kingdom of Naples, in a net of Patronage

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In 1550, the painter Donato Decumbertino painted a cycle of frescoes in the Castle of Gambatesa inspired by very important frescoes in Rome. Some years later far away in Apulia the painter Gianserio Strafella did almost the same. Far from being dismissed as two striking examples of the translation of Roman models in the province, the works by both painters are full of interest. First of all, is ‘Decumbertino’ just a ‘surname’ or does it refer to place where he was born? What do his paintings have in common with those of Gianserio Strafella, who in Cupertino was born indeed. These are the initial questions to answer in order to better frame an episode in Art History, that now appears more isolated and circumscribed in a profoundly changed cultural landscape.The relationship between the Painters and their Patrons is a good key to begin to provide some answers.

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