Artibus et Historiae no. 78 (XXXIX)2018, ISSN 0391-9064
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ANDREA LEONARDI - Genoese Noblemen in the Kingdom of Naples: Michele IV Imperiale (1719–1782), Prince of Francavilla, between the Taste for Antique and Venetian Art (pp. 95–110)
The Orazione di rendimento di grazie al re, written by Bernardo della Torre (1779) on the occassion of the foundation of the Reale Accademia delle Scienze e delle Belle Lettere in Naples, during the reign of Ferdinando di Borbone, is dedicated to Michele IV Imperiale (1719–1782), prince of Francavilla. It opens the present paper on the artistic relations between the region of Apulia and the Genoese Republic, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, through the Neapolitan hub and with a constant interest for patronage and collecting. Michele Imperiale, a Genoese settled in Naples, but honoured by Apulian aristocracy with a noble title (prince of Francavilla), rented the Cellamare palace which housed a version of the Supper in the House of Simon Pharisee by Veronese, derived from the painting executed for the Santi Nazario e Celso monastery in Verona (1556), later documented in the Balbi-Durazzo palace in Genoa (1737). Imperiale’s strategies were similar to those of other Genoese noblemen (Giustiniani, Doria, De Mari) active in the Kingdom of Naples.