0246 I disegni del Familienarchiv Harrach di Vienna per la committenza artistica nella Sala dei Viceré del Palazzo Reale di Napoli

  • Ilaria Telesca (Author)

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The seventeenth-century Sala dei Viceré of the Royal Palace in Naples, currently known as the Salone d’Ercole, derived its original name from the full-length portraits of the Spanish viceroys who governed the city of Naples for two centuries. The Austrian viceroys, who reigned from 1707 to 1734, also made their contribution to the decoration of the room. From several sources we know that Count Wirich Philipp Lorenz von Daun, who governed as the viceroy of Naples from 1707 to 1708 and again from 1713 to 1719, commissioned the painter Paolo de Matteis to retouch the already extant portraits and to carry out new portraits, as well as an equestrian fresco of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI of Habsburg. Due to the loss of the original decoration (i.e., the portraits and the fresco) and also the lack of related visual and archival documents, it was not previously possible to carry out a diachronic study of this important commission to De Matteis in the Sala dei Viceré. The discovery of new documents in the Vienna State Archives, and of two drawings of the Sala dei Viceré in the Familienarchiv Harrach in Vienna, however, has enabled a reassessment of Paolo de Matteis’ fresco work in this room, and the terms of the commission to him.