(b Castellammare di Stabia, nr Naples, 1707; d Naples, 19 May 1789).
Italian painter. A student of Francesco Solimena, Bonito became one of the most influential artists of the Neapolitan school in the 18th century. Throughout his career, but most notably during the latter part of the century when Rome was the arbiter of Neo-classicism, his style remained firmly within the rich painterly traditions of Naples. His earliest works, for example the Archangel Raphael and Tobias (1730; Naples, S Maria Maggiore), show an assimilation of elements derived from late Baroque artists working in Naples and a hesitant affinity to the tenebrism of Solimena. In other pictures of sacred subjects from c. 1730 onwards, however, he developed a personal neo-Baroque style characterized by sweeping movement, bold chiaroscuro and a saturated palette reminiscent of both Solimena and Luca Giordano. Paintings in this style, such as St Vincent Ferrer (1737; Barletta, S Domenico), St Lazarus (early 1740s; Portici, S Ciro) and Charity (1742; Naples, Pal. Monte di Pietà), show that Bonitos maturity was also characterized by delicacy and grace.
Portrait of Carlo VII of Naples, later Charles III of Spain 1740
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