Neapolitan Beauties (1885)

Bonhams says:

Neapolitan Beauties is ‘a striking depiction of two elegantly dressed ladies posed with their dog on the promenade; the flawlessly painted surface, devoid of any evidence of the artist’s brush, perfectly displays the subject’s porcelain skin and beauty. All attention is focused on the elegant subjects and the omission of a narrative focuses the viewers attention on the beauties within a frieze-like arrangement leading the viewer’s eye from one to the other’.

The painting is by Vittorio Matteo Corcos (Italian, 1859-1933), known for ‘winsome and finely dressed young men and women, in moments of repose and recreation’.

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Grotta del Tuono, Posillipo, Naples

The Grotto of Thunder, looking out over Nisida island.

Here the slayer of Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus, plotted with Cassius and, after the assassination, walked with Cicero who ‘apud illum multas horas in Néside’ – spent many hours in Nisida – to discuss the future of Rome.

Photo via Napoli Underground, a website dedicated to exploration of subterranean Naples.

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Saving Naples

It is sadly true that, despite the many wonders and attractions of the historic centre of Naples, a lot of the buildings in this UNESCO World Heritage Site are in a sorry state of repair.  Formerly beautiful Palazzos are run down with little sign of repair work.  Churches are locked, damp has eaten into the walls and netting is strung along roofs protects passers by from falling masonry.  And there is a lack of money, and will, to do anything about it.

Here the BBC’s Rome correspondent looks into the issue:

Millions of euros have been promised for renovations but is this enough to restore the heart of the city and make the most of its past?

via BBC News – Saving one of Italy’s oldest cities from crumbling away.

Picture via UNESCO.