Caravaggio’s final masterpiece, the Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, was painted in Naples in 1610. After a long and tumultuous journey, it hangs proudly in the city of its birth.
The work, which was commissioned by the Doge of Genoa, depicts the murder of Ursula by the King of the Huns. It left Naples bound for Genoa in May 1610, its painter left Naples in July. The Martyrdom arrived safely in Genoa but Caravaggio didn’t fare quite as well. By the end of July, the bad boy of the Baroque was dead under mysterious circumstances.
A few centuries later, the Martyrdom of Saint Ursula returned to Naples. Restored in 2005, the work is part of Banca Intesa Sanpaolo’s collection at their gallery at the 17th century palazzo designed by Cosimo Fanzago, Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano. Also here are works by Luca Giordano and Francesco De Mura; Artemisia Gentileschi’s Samson and Delilah; four important works from Gaspare van der Wittel; and a room devoted to Vincenzo Gemito.