Two paintings by Giovanni Battista Lama acquired by the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Agen

17/11/08 — Acquisitions — Agen, Musée des Beaux-Arts — The museum in Agen has just acquired two very beautiful Neapolitan paintings, Lot and his Daughters and Solomon Adoring the Idols (ill. 1 and 2) from the Turquin Gallery in Paris. The gallery had attributed the two works to Paolo de Matteis but professors Pavone and Spinosa, with whom the museum consulted, stated that these were in fact canvases by Giovanni Batista Lama. The error is understandable and frequently made as their art is very similar and their paintings are often confused. Both painters were students of Luca Giordano, collaborated together and even became brothers-in-law.

1. Giovanni Battista Lama (1660 or 1673-1748)
Loth and his Daughters
Oil on canvas - 53 x 61 cm
Agen, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée d’Agen

2. Giovanni Battista Lama (1660 or 1673 ?-1748)
Solomon Adoring the Idols
Oil on canvas - 53 x 61 cm
Agen, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée d’Agen

Indeed, Giovanni Battista Lama is still rather unknown. He was apparently born between 1660 and 1673 [1]. In the two works acquired by Agen, his art seems strongly influenced by his master, Luca Giordano ; for instance, the two paintings could be compared with The Judgement of Paris from the Galleria Pallavicini in Rome.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 17 novembre 2008


[1] The second date, 1673, is mentioned notably in the catalogue for the exhibition Settecento Napoletano. Sulle ali dell’aquila imperiale 1707-1734 (Vienna and Naples, 1993) the first, 1660, by the Agen museum. He should also not be confused with Giulia Lama, a Venetian female artist who was a student of Piazzetta or with Giovanni Bernardo Lama, also Neapolitan but active in the 16th century.

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