We are grateful to Prof. Nicola Spinosa for confirming the attribution to Solimena and for suggesting that the painting belongs to an early phase of his career, c
. 1678–80, when he was working alongside his father Angelo. In Prof. Spinosa's opinion, this previously unpublished bozzetto
for an altarpiece, was probably painted for a church in the Salerno/Avellino area, around the time of the frescoes at San Giorgio in Salerno and before those in the church of Santa Maria Donnaregina, Naples.1
The contorted figure in the foreground, for instance, is similar to the muscular nudes at San Giorgio in the Archangel Michael defeating the Giants
, while the putti in the upper area of the picture show the influence of Benaschi and Lanfranchi. Prof. Spinosa will include this painting in his forthcoming publication on the artist.
1. V. De Martini, Angelo e Francesco Solimena: Due culture a confronto, Milan 1990.