Francesco Saverio Altamura
Francesco Saverio Altamura (Foggia, August 5, 1822 -January 5, Naples, 1897) was an Italian painter, who while trained in Naples,
He moved from Foggia to Naples in 1840, initially to study medicine. He was enrolled in the school of the Scolopi priests. But his interests led him to attend the Accademia di Belle Arti alongside Domenico Morelli. he also befriended Michele De Napoli. But like his friend, he became part of the protests during the insurrection of 1848. He fought in the barricades of Santa Brigida. He was briefly arrested, and condemned to death, and upon which he fled into exile in L'Aquila, then by 1950 to Florence. There he entered into the circle of artists frequenting the Caffè Michelangiolo, and the painters of the Tuscan school of the Macchiaioli. Yet Francesco's paintings, unlike those of the Macchiaioli, were focused on historic and political events.
In 1855, with Morelli and Serafino De Tivoli, he traveled to the World Exposition at Paris. In 1860, he returned to Naples, this time fighting alongside the forces of Giuseppe Garibaldi. He then became active in politics as well as art. In 1861, he submitted the painting of the Funerals of Buondelmonte to the "Prima esposizione nazionale" held in Florence.
In 1865, he frescoed the chapel of the Palazzo Reale of Naples. In 1892, he painted five altarpieces and four canvases for the restored parocchial church of Castrignano de' Greci in the province of Lecce.
His first wife, Elena Bùkaras, was a Greek painter, with whom he had two children. But he then had two further companions, the Greek painter Eleni Sionti, and finally married the painter Jane Benham Hay, with whom he had two further children.
In 1901, a monument in his honor was erected in Foggia.
- Translated from Italian Wikipedia entry
- Napier, Lord Francis (1855). Notes on Modern Painting at Naples.. West Strand, London: John W. Parker and Son. p. 52.
- Il qarantotto: notizie, aneddoti, curiosita' intorno al 15 maggio 1848 in Napoli, by Salvatore Di Giacomo, page 39