Castel Capuano, Napoli

2013, Printed 2015
Archival Lambda Color Photograph

Signed, titled, dated and from edition of 5 on artist’s label on verso.

Available in 3 sizes: 100 x 120 cm. (39.4 x 47.2 in.), 120 x 150 cm. (47.2 x 59.1 in.), 180 x 225 cm. (70.9 x 88.6 in.)

Massimo Listri’s photograph of Castel Capuano in Naples is a striking example of his skill in capturing the essence and history of architectural spaces. The shot, taken down the length of a grand room, is bathed in natural light streaming in from windows on the right, illuminating the intricate details of the historic structure. Listri’s keen eye for composition and light transforms the room into a tableau that speaks to both its past grandeur and present stillness.

Castel Capuano, one of the oldest castles in Naples, dates back to the 12th century. Built by the Normans under William I, it was originally a royal palace. Its strategic location near the Porta Capuana, one of the city’s main gates, made it a key defensive structure. Over the centuries, Castel Capuano underwent numerous renovations and changes in function, reflecting the tumultuous history of Naples itself.

In the 16th century, the castle was repurposed as the Hall of Justice, housing various legal and administrative offices. This transformation included significant architectural modifications to accommodate its new role. The building became a symbol of law and governance, a place where justice was dispensed and legal matters were settled. It remained the main courthouse in Naples until the 19th century when the new courthouse was built.

Listri’s photograph captures the layered history of Castel Capuano through his meticulous attention to architectural detail and light. The natural light streaming through the windows casts long shadows and highlights the textures of the room’s aged surfaces, emphasizing the passage of time. The symmetrical composition draws the viewer’s eye down the room, inviting them to imagine the countless historical events and decisions that took place within its walls.

The photograph’s depth and clarity showcase Listri’s technical prowess. His use of perspective enhances the grandeur of the space, while the interplay of light and shadow adds a sense of drama and timelessness. The room’s architectural features—arched windows, detailed moldings, and stately columns—are rendered with a precision that brings out their historical significance.

Listri’s ability to capture the spirit of Castel Capuano lies in his understanding of how architecture can convey a story. His photograph not only highlights the physical beauty of the space but also evokes the historical and cultural narratives embedded within its walls. Through his lens, Listri invites viewers to explore the rich history of Castel Capuano, from its origins as a royal palace to its role as a center of justice.

Massimo Listri’s photograph of Castel Capuano is a masterful portrayal of a historic Neapolitan landmark. His skillful use of light, composition, and perspective transforms the room into a vivid reminder of the castle’s storied past. By capturing the architectural beauty and historical significance of Castel Capuano, Listri offers a visual journey through time, allowing viewers to connect with the rich heritage of Naples.