91. Natale Carta (1790 – 1884)

Born in Messina in 1790, Carta demonstrated talent in painting at a very early age (8 years old). On the advice of Agostino Gallo, he studied with Giuseppe Patania -who tough him how to improve his technique of drawing-, and later went to the school of Giuseppe Velasco, the main representative of Sicilian Neoclassic style.

With the benefit of the generous help of the Princess of Paterno’, he moved to Rome to study for twelve years as a student of V. Camuccini. Carta remained faithful to the neoclassical style, but also followed his natural tendency that led him to change the old, in the manner of Guido Reni. In 1834 Carta took part in the competition for the chair of painting of the Royal School of Naples -theme: Adonis departing from Venus to hunt. He was preferred by Camillo Guerra but Cata was commissioned many portraits including the paintings of the kings Francesco I and Ferdinand II.

Portrait of Santangelo family, Natalie Carta
Portrait of Santangelo family, Natalie Carta

Rome became his residence and in Rome he acquired prestige and fame. In 1839 Carta was elected member of the Academy of St. Luke in which, 23 May 1848, he was appointed professor of painting and drawing teacher in 1868. He was one of the painters who, under the guidance of Francesco Podesti, frescoed (1857-1860) the walls of the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls rebuilt after the fire of 1832) with frescoes depicting Paul who raises the boy heretic and Paul escapes fiagellazione in Jerusalem. He also worked in two other Roman churches: St. Mary of Itria (picture of St. Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo), and S. Andrea delle Fratte (painting of the “Immaculate”).

"Immaculate", Natalie Carta
“Immaculate”, Natalie Carta

His works are preserved in many Italian cities. Portraits are hosted in the museums of Palermo and Trapani. “Death of Atala” (1830) is on display at the Capodimonte museum in Naples. Other portraits and works of neoclassical style are the National Museum in Palermo and in the Roman houses of the Torlonia princes. In Naples, the portrait of the Duchess of Berry is in the church of San Francesco a Ripa. Carta died in Messina in 1884.

Read More:
1. Treccani, http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/natale-carta_(Dizionario_Biografico)/
2. Pittori Sicilian, http://www.pittorisiciliani.it/elenco%20pittori%20siciliani/carta_natale.htm

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