Property from a Private Collection
PAOLO DE MATTEIS
Piano del Cilento, Salerno 1662 - 1728 Naples
Cain and Abel
oil on canvas
96 x 128.3 cm.; 37¾ x 50½ in.
We are grateful to Dr Riccardo Lattuada for endorsing the attribution to Paolo de Matteis, and for dating this work to circa 1690, relatively early in the artist's career when his style was still influenced by Roman painting.
An alternative attribution to another Neapolitan artist, Giovan Battista Lama (1673–1748), has been proposed by Professor Nicola Spinosa. The plants in the lower right of the present composition may be compared to those that appear in Lama's paintings of The Sacrifice of Isaac and Hagar in the Desert, in the Kunsthistorische Museum, Vienna.1
1 Inv. nos 9705 and 9706; see N. Spinosa, Pittura napoletana del Settecento dal Barocco al Rococo, Naples 1986, p. 139, cat. no 151, reproduced p. 273, figs 173–74.