Didier Barra(Metz 1590- Naples 1656)
View of Antwerp Cathedral
Oil on slate
26,5 x 44 cm
Ms Maria Rosaria Nappi has validated the attribution after visual examination of the painting
Didier Barra was born in Metz; however he spent most of his career in Naples. There he worked with another painter from Metz, François de Nomé. They often painted together under the surname Monsù Desiderio. In Naples Barra specialised in city and monuments views, the vedute, a genre that was particularly appreciated at that time in Italy and amongst foreign visitors.
Barra was already in Naples when he painted by memory this view of Antwerp cathedral, surrounded by baroque constructions.
The painting is a great example of Barra’s precise and refined style. Indeed, by playing with the unvarnished surface of the slate plate the artist manages to render an evocative night scene and the beauty of a cathedral on a baroque square.
Literature: Nappi M. R., « Francois De Nome e Didier Barra, lorenesi a Napoli », in Ricerche sull’arte a Napoli in età moderna, saggi e documenti, VI, 2019, p. 77 et 79.