RECCO, Giovan Battista
(b. ca. 1615, Napoli, d. ca. 1660, Napoli)

Biography

Italian painter, part of a family of painters, He was probably the brother of Giacomo Recco. He is listed under the diminutive epithet 'Titta' in old inventories. His oeuvre has been discovered by scholars among paintings formerly attributed to others, in particular to Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo, who shared the same initials GBR. His development as a painter was influenced by the work of Roman Caravaggesque painters and by Spanish still-life paintings, from the genre scenes of Alejandro de Loarte and Juan van der Hamen y León to the early works of Velázquez. He may have visited Spain early in his career or could have gained his knowledge from the examples of Spanish art in Naples.

His best works, such as Fish and Oysters with a Dish (Kungliga Slottet, Stockholm) and the late work Interior of a Kitchen with Game and a Live Turkey (private collection) demonstrate a deep feeling for everyday life and a warm, dense and highly expressive use of paint that recalls the technique of Jusepe de Ribera. Giovan Battista's work, like that of his (probable) brother, had a profound influence on Giuseppe Recco and Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo.