Serino has more. It was the forge of the Baroque painter Francesco Solimena, known as the Abate Ciccio, born in Canale di Serino in 1657.
He was a famous Italian painter and architect and one of the greatest exponents of the late Baroque style. Among his influences there are Francesco Guarino and Luca Giordano (of which the artist admired their creative and very scenic paintings) and also Mattia Preti.
From his father, Angelo Solimena, already well-known artist, Francesco learned the art of painting in his workshop in Nocera Inferiore.
The passion that Francesco had for painting, however, was not only encouraged by the family but also by Cardinal Pietro Francesco Orsini, who later became Pope Benedict XIII. During a visit to Nocera the cardinal had the opportunity to see his talent, encouraging his family to support him further in the study of painting.
Francis worked for several years with his father; among the paintings, executed by them in 1670, we remember: il Paradiso in the Cathedral of Nocera, and the Visione di San Cirillo d'Alessandria in the church of San Domenico in Solofra.
In the 80s of the seventeenth century, the paintings by Solimena show that he began to distance himself from his father: Francesco passed from naturalism to Baroque. Of this period we can see the works such as the frescoes of San Giorgio in Salerno and the paintings of the Virtu della Sacrestia of San Paolo Maggiore found in Naples, all works of Roman Baroque style mixed with the Neapolitan tradition of painting, where its chromatism is enhanced in iridescent eddies of light.
The subjects of Solimena of this period are solely religious. In outlining images of saints he adopts a substantially difference from that in vogue in the Baroque period, avoiding the miraculous apparitions effect arising from a visionary passion.
His conception of the legacy of the past as to preserve historical memory is very modern and dynamic with a happy reconciliation between old and new, past and present.
The culmination of the stylistic embellishment process of was joined by Solimena in magnificent frescoes in the sacristy of the church of San Paolo Maggiore, where the Giordano's chromatism is exalted in iridescent eddies of light.
Instead, in the canvas of S. Francesco who renounced the priesthood, in the church of Sant'Anna dei Lombardi, from the early 90s of the seventeenth century, there was already the inspiration to the works of Mattia Preti. This period marked the maturation of the painting of Francesco Solimena, who already was inspired among other things to by Luca Giordano Francesco became his artistic heir and from him he obtains the color teeming and fluffy light.
In the last decade of the century Solimena accentuated his attention towards the gloomy painting of Mattia Preti, giving to the images greater firmness and plasticity; at the same time he was influenced by the classicism of Maratta. His manners of painting are marked by a more serene balance, without losing sight of those airy, light openings inherited from Jordan.
Among the paintings of this decade one should be mentioned : the small altarpiece depicting the Miracle of S. Giovanni di Dio for the hospital of peace, today found at the museum, followed in 1693 by S. Francesco who renounced his priesthood for the church of Santa Maria Donna Regina.