Giordano, Luca

, an eminent artist, was born at Naples, in 1629, and at first was the disciple of | Spagnoletto, and afterwards of Pietro da Cortona.When. h quitted the school of the latter, he went to Lonabarcly, to study Corregio 3 and then travelled to Venice, to improve himself hy the colouring and compositions of the besi Venetian artists. He had a fruitful imagination, and a surprising readiness and freedom of hand; his tone of colouring is agreeable; and his design, when he chose, correct. He studied the manners and particularities of the greatest masters with such care and judgment, and possessed so happy a memory, that he not only retained in his mind a distinct idea of the style of every celebrated master, but had the skill and power to imitate them with such a critical exactness, as to deceive even the ablest connoisseurs. In his early time this might have been the effect of study, and an attempt to arrive at excellence; but we may observe the same disposition of mind in those pictures which he painted in the best periods of his life, many of them being in the peculiar manner of Titian, Tintoretto, Guido, and Bassan. Some of those paintings are so like, that it is said there are in the most capital collections in England, some called Titian’s which are incontestably the sportings of Giordano’s pencil. One of his most considerable productions is the altar-piece of the church of the Ascension at Naples, representing the fall of Lucifer. And at Genoa, is a fine picture of Seneca dying in the Bath; of which, also, there is a duplicate in the gallery at Dresden. In Spain he executed many compositions at Madrid, Toledo, and at the Escurial; and employed only two years to paint ten arched ceilings of the church and staircase of that palace. He was exceedingly industrious, generally painting six or seven hours every day; and being highly favoured by the king, became exceedingly rich. In 1692 he first arrived at Madrid, and did not return to Italy till 1702, when he accompanied Philip V. to Naples, and in 1704 died there. The appellation of “Luca fa Presto” was accidentally applied to Giordano; not on account of the fame he had acquired by his expeditious manner of painting, but from the mercenary eagerness of his father, who sold at a high price the designs of Luca, which he m<Cde after the compositions of the great masters, while he pursued his studies. The father of Luca scarce allowed him time to refresh himself, but still said to him while he was at his meals as well as at his work, “Lucn, fa presto,” or, “Luca, make haste;| from which expression perpetually uttered, his companions gave him the nick-name of “Fa Presto.1


Pilkington and —Strutt. Argenville, vol. II. Reynolds’s Worfcs.