Attributed to Giuseppe Bonito

1705 - 1789

A Portrait of a Young Man smiling and holding a Wine Bottle in one Hand and a Glass in the other


Oil on Canvas




38(h) x 38(w) cms


Giuseppe Bonito's received his early training under the tutelage of the well established Neapolitan Master Francesco Solimena. His earliest works tended to be religious paintings, but he appears to have rapidly made a name for himself as a portraitist and moralist.

Bonito was one of the leading figures in the artistic life of Naples during the reign of Charles VII, the Regency of Tanucci and the beginning of the reign of Ferdinand IV. Indeed, in 1751 he was chosen as the official court painter to the King of Naples. By 1755 he had been appointed as Director of the Academy of Drawing and Composition as well as of the Manufacture of Tapestries. He was elected a Member of the Accademia di San Luca in Naples in 1752.

Bonito was noted especially for his use of colour in his compositions -an excellent example being his vigorously painted 'Charity' painted on the ceiling of the church of the Monte di Pieta in Naples, a work that is both well balanced, stylistically highly individual and noticeably free from academic constraints. His genre paintings in particular won praise from the 18th Century biographer De Dominici, who noted that he was highly regarded by many important individuals.

Bonito's portraits give a more accurate portrayal of contemporary society than do his moralistic paintings. The work of Bonito is often confused with that of Gaspare Traversi, although Bonito's style tends to be softer and more earthy by comparison.


Private Collection, Italy