Catacombs of San Gennaro / Capodimonte Museum
(Naples, Italy)

March 22, 2016

The Catacombs of San Gennaro are underground paleo-Christian burial sites.


Madre del Buon Consiglio

The site is now easily identified by the large church of Madre del Buon Consiglio.


The Catacombs of San Gennaro

Featuring both Pagan and Christian iconography, of note are San Gennaro and Saint Peter at the Gates of Paradise, the Peacock Arcosolio, a young princess flanked by her parents whom she preceded in death, and a ceiling fresco of Christ in the Byzantine style.

These catacombs are different from their Roman counterparts in that they have more spacious passageways along two levels.

The lower level is the oldest, dating to the 2nd century AD, these catacombs were the preferred burial place of Roman noblemen.

There are three types of tomb, each corresponding to a specific social class. The wealthy opted for the open-room cubiculum, originally guarded by gates and adorned with colourful wall frescoes. The smaller, rectangular wall niches, known as loculum, were the domain of the middle classes, while the forme (floor tombs) were reserved for the poor.

The city's bishops were buried in this catacomb until the 11th century.


Bishop's Tomb

Between the 13th and 18th century, they were the victim of severe looting. Restoration of the catacombs was made possible only after the transfer of skeletal remains to Fontanelle cemetery.

Museo di Capodimonte is an art museum located in the Palace of Capodimonte, a grand Bourbon palazzo.


Museo di Capodimonte

The museum is the prime repository of Neapolitan painting and decorative art, with several important works from other Italian schools of painting, and some important ancient Roman sculptures. It is one of the largest museums in Italy.

The vast collection at the museum traces its origins back to 1738.


Two of the six painting entitled Markets by Joachim Beuckelaer

The first and second floors house the Galleria Nazionale (National Gallery), with paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries.

Elsewhere in the palace the royal apartments are furnished with antique 18th-century furniture and a collection of porcelain and majolica from the various royal residences.

The museum is by far the best place to see paintings of the Neapolitan School.


Roof paint

Much of the ground floor is taken up by part of the magnificent Farnese collection, one of the premier collections of artistic items from Greco-Roman Antiquity.

The items in the collection were acquired or requisitioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who became Pope Paul III (1543 - 1549).


Napoleone I Imperatore - Francois Gerard

François Gérard painted the official portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805. From this it was drawn numerous copies to be sent to all the states of the empire. The one show on the previous picture is the work attributed to Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson.


Death of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini (1798)

Vincenzo Camuccini (22 February 1771 – 2 September 1844) was an Italian painter of Neoclassic histories and religious paintings.

He was considered the premier academic painter of his time in Rome.


Diana saetta Niobe by Luca Giordano

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Giordano has been criticized as being a prolific trader of all styles, and master of none.


Maddonna dell'umiltá by Domenico Maggiore

After the palace passed in 1861 to the House of Savoy, further pieces were added to the art collections. They also added an extensive collection of historic firearms and other weapons.

After the end of the monarchy, the palace became purely a national museum in 1950.