He was born in Rome in 1652 and died in Naples on 15 November 1726); he was a painter and engraver of the late baroque period.Giacomo completed his first education with his father Pietro in Rome, where he became a member of the Accademia of San Luca in 1674, and where as told by De Dominici attended the Poussin, to then move in 1683 to Naples, where he lived stably except for stays in Rome and perhaps in Florence. In the city of Naples, where initially he circled around the Marquis Del Carpio - as N. Spinosa writes (Neapolitan painting of the eighteenth century from Baroque to Rococo, Electa Naples ed. Naples 1986) in his introduction to the artist, with a discreet selection of his works and the specific bibliography - in the last decade he approached the pretentious ways of Solimena of those years, but relieved his compositions with his own stylistic figure, marked by fluctuating shapes of lively sophistication and unmistakable physiognomies.
All paintings of extraordinary decorative effect, such as frescoes of the Palace of the Marquis of Positano, Santa Teresa degli Studi, the Palace of Maddaloni, San Gregorio Armeno, San Domenico Maggiore, Santa Caterina a Formiello, Palace of Casamassima, and many others. Of the last period, where the Del Po brought his compositive solutions to a more and more brightened light - so to have supposed a cognition of works by S. Ricci, in Rome or Florence - painted canvases, commissioned by Eugene of Savoy, for the ceilings of three Belvedere halls in Vienna (1723).
Giacomo da Po was a painter who was able to develop with a lively personality a basic late Cortonese matrix, with exhibit dynamism and light leaven pictorial, always with singular typologies in its countless inventive, pictured though always with a compositional balance, assimilated clearly in the light of the classical principles imposed in Rome by the headmaster Maratti.
Examining his catalog, highly varied for subjects - he transcribed in painting also episodes of famous poems such as Milton's Lost Paradise, or of the Eneide, in parallel with profane scenes such as decorations of palatial ceilings - and always characterized by a figurative impression of neomanieristic taste, which draws perhaps in the sixteenth century with effects reminiscent of Genoese Gregorio De Ferrari, and who probably also took advantage of his knowledge of foreign sources, especially flemings, certainly useful in Naples.
The theme portrayed
The origin and title of this singular representation (oil painting on the canvas, cm 55 x 89), is unknown, portraying the "Diana and Endimione" fable in a small oval space at the top centre, with on top a scroll and under a masquerade and surrounded by various other figures, such as floral garlands and two carpets hanging on a rod dividing the scene in half into two sections, one on the top and the another lower. However, it is believed that the intent of the author of this original subject was to represent a "Allegory of the Hunt", to which it alludes to the presence of Diana, the Selene or Moon of the Greeks, often identified as Diana the hunter, apparently referring to the two women in the act of shooting an arrow from their bows, with two dogs at their sides, clearly hunting dogs, guided by two young people one with a shotgun on his shoulder. Other dogs are depicted below while in the four corners of the representation, at the top you can observe two hunters shooting with their long guns, and on the bottom two half-naked young women seated. The different allusion to hunting in fact justifies the proper relevance of this title.