Galleria di Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano
Lonely Planet review for Galleria di Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano
While the 19th-century stucco detailing and frescoes of the 17th-century Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano are delightful, the protagonist here is Caravaggio's final masterpiece, The Martyrdom of St Ursula (1610). Completed weeks before the artist's lonely death, it depicts the brutal scene of a vengeful king of the Huns piercing the heart of his unwilling virgin bride-to-be, Ursula.
Positioned behind the dying martyr is a haunted Caravaggio, an eerie premonition of his own impending fate. The tumultuous history of both the artist and the painting is documented in the free, highly informative audioguide. Caravaggio's canvas is the centrepiece of the palazzo's small art gallery, its other works of note including a fascinating pictorial map of 17th-century Naples by Alessandro Baratta and 18th- and 19th-century landscape paintings by Anton Smink Pitloo and Gaspar van Wittel. The latter artist is the father of celebrated architect Luigi Vanvitelli