Leonardo Coccorante

“il giordano di prospettiva”

naples 1680 – 1750

pair of architectural capricci with figures before a sarcophagus and figures in a ruined arcade

Both at 74 x 56 cm., oil on canvas


  • Literature
  • Giancarlo Sestieri,  Il Capriccio Architettonico: in Italia nel XVII e XVIII secolo, (2015), Rome, illus. Vol I, figs. 13a & 13b, p. 256. 
  • Exhibition
  • SFO Airport Museum, All Roads Lead to Rome: 17th-19th Century Souvenirs from the Collection of Piraneseum, January 24-August 13, 2017

A very highly realized pair of capricci from the first part of the 18th century, including a level of architectural and other detail – note the rendering of the sarcophagus and adjacent flora – and spatial complexity not always present in this artist’s pictures. These are fully characteristic paintings, however, featuring Coccorante’s dominating perspectival organization, eerily distinctive very late afternoon daylighting (rendering the ruins in pronounced patterns of light and dark); billowing, smoke-like clouds; and yellow-orange and grey stonework.

These pictures are unusually heavily populated, the figures either going about spectating, or wandering into some dark business. What, for example, do the pair of figures at the right of the painting with the sarcophagus, have rolled up in the apparently heavy bundle they are dragging along?

For more about Leonardo Coccorante, please see our description of Pair of Architectural Capricci with Figures and Ruins by the Sea. Pictured in Giancarlo Sestiari’s 2015 Il Capriccio Architettonico:in Italia nel XVII e XVIII secolo, Rome: figures 38a & b, p. 256, Vol I.