The buyers of the pictorial series
Giangirolamo II Acquaviva of Aragon (painted on the left side), Count of Conversano from 1626, and his consort Isabella Filomarino were the buyers of the pictorial series “Jerusalem Delivered”.
The count Giangirolamo, was distinguished for his military deeds and politics, impacting the Neapolitan scene with his role as a great vassal.
He is also known for his unscrupulousness and for the violence used against the populations he subjected, earning him the name "Guercio of Puglia".
For his ferocity, the Spanish crown turned to him on the occasion of the great popular revolt instigated by Masaniello in 1647-48, entrusting with him the assignment to subdue the apulian cities that had rebelled.
His behavior and the great autonomy with which he often acted in comparison to the sovereigns Spaniards made him a lot of enemies in the Neapolitan court. Arrested first in 1643-45 in Naples, and moved in 1650 to the jails in Madrid, where he remained up to 1665, the year of his death.
No less energetic and volitive, was his consort Isabella Filomarino, as to the principles of the Fortress (painted on the right side), neice of the cardinal of Naples and born of one of the most prestigious Neapolitan families. To her, "woman of high value", was passed the assignment to take care of the Acquavivano affairs of State of Conversano, after the political misfortune of her husband.
Her leadership was performed with sure ability and competence, since it continued and realized great projects for which the lineage was cast as solidly Conversanese. With Giangirolamo and Isabella, the connection between power and culture became focused, so much so that their city was characterized as a center of culture, similar to an Italian Renaissance court.
To commission great works of art gave not only fame and self satisfaction, but above all meant that well conceived projects carried with them the attention of powerful people.
The projects of the Acquavivano count were political projects, secondarily cultural. The cultural and artistic commitments were, in fact, a presupposition to affirm the prestige of the court.
The presence of literary figures and artists in the community increased the personal sense of power of the wealthy patrons.
This project showcases the pictorial series on "Jerusalem Delivered" for the castle gallery by the painter Paolo Finoglio, who arrived in Conversano from Naples around 1634.
|The Coat of arms of the Acquaviva of Aragon, the point of honor of Filomarino, in the church of the S.S. Medici|
|View of the ceiling of the bedroom of the count, with decorations in plaster and the frescos of Paul Finoglio titled "Histories of Giacobbe".|
Churches and monasteries saw creation of important works, now with the sustained resources of the county (recall the church of the Santi Medici, built and adorned with the splendid paintings of Finoglio), and with the finance of the city nobility, as well as the collective whole.
The resulting city was modernized according to the taste and artistic ideas of the Baroque epoch.
At the center of it all is the protagonist and beneficiary of the house of Acquaviva of Arogon with its illustrious members.
Not only Giangirolamo, who was removed from Conversano in presense and then definitely in 1650, but the always energetic Isabella, not by coincidence represented with her coat of arms together with that of the Acquavivas on all the works commissioned in the county.