Raffaele Carelli

Raffaele Carelli (Monopoli 1795 – Naples 1864), the founder of the Neapolitan Carelli group, was born in Apulia on 27 September in Martina Franca into a family of painters.

He moved to Naples in 1815 after starting out as a portrait painter under the guidance of his father, Settimio Carelli.

Raffaele Carelli also passed through the studio of Jakob Wilhelm Huber (Dusseldorf 1787-Zurich 1871), not as a disciple like Giacinto Gigante (Naples 1806 – 1876) or Achille Vianelli (Porto Maurizio 1803 – Benevento 1894), but as a collaborator.

Raffaele Carelli, in fact, used to enrich Wilhelm Huber’s landscapes with figurines.

In 1930, now an established landscape painter, he became an honorary professor at the Institute of Fine Arts.

As an illustrator, he accompanied the Duke of Devonshire to Sicily and then on a long journey to the Orient.

“Towards the end, he almost abandoned painting, limiting himself to giving lessons and dealing in antiques” (Ortolani, 1967).

He died on 25 June 1964.

Raffaele Carelli nevertheless remains – and Napier saw this very well – one of the oldest and strongest landscape painters in 19th-century Naples.

This recognition seems limited by the notoriety achieved by his three sons, also painters, but of lesser stature.

Gabriele Carelli (Naples 1820 – Menton France 1900), Consalvo Carelli (Naples 1818 – 1900) and Achille Carelli (Naples 1850 – Portici 1921).