Storia dell’arte 151-152, Gennaio-Dicembre 2019
Nemici per la pelle: Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Pier Francesco Mola, Salvator Rosa, Gian Lorenzo Bernini e la questione del dissenso
Luigi Salerno’s article Il dissenso nella pittura. Intorno a Filippo Napoletano, Caroselli, Salvator Rosa e altri, in the second number of “Storia dell’arte”, in 1970 marks an important turning point for studies on the Roman seventeenth century – and not only – highlighting a heterogeneous group of artists of great quality but not fully included in the dominant aesthetic categories of the Baroque. In line with the iconological and social interests linked to art history of which the magazine Storia dell’arte was an important center for collecting studies, Salerno faced the thorny question of the Academy and Dissent in relation to artists – Salvator Rosa, Filippo Napoletano, Pier Francesco Mola, Giovanni Battista Castiglione known as Grechetto – who in their particular production had often expressed interest in magical, eccentric, dark and philosophical subjects. Above all, according to the scholar, they had refused the traditional system of subjection of the artist to a client, preferring to remain free and relying on more impromptu market mechanisms. Today, after forty years of studies, it is possible to contextualize the work of these artists with more certainty, perhaps reviewing the concept of dissent and emphasizing the individual nuances that escape, and will always escape, the too wide and general categories of scholars. The article is proposed as a verification and clarification on the so-called dissent in figures such as Grechetto, Mola and Rosa, emphasizing on the contrary the close relationship with Gian Lorenzo Bernini and the artistic and literary academies of the time.