Melchiorre Delfico’s caricatures and Italy’s Unification

Melchiorre Delfico, album caricature 1860 - caricature album

Table no.1, "Album Index"

Giuseppe Verdi nicknamed Melchiorre De Filippis Delfico (1825-1895) The Great Neapolitan Nadar, after the brilliant Parisian photographer and cartoonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (who, amongst other things, set up the first ever Impressionists’ group show).

Delfico, like Nadar, drew caricatures of the famous people of his time, the second half of the 19th century.

Born in Teramo, he moved to Naples in 1841 at the age of sixteen, and lived in his new hometown his whole life. He was an eclectic artist, known as a composer, opera singer, painter, and poet.

The caricatures we showcase here are from his Album di caricature in 24 tavole immaginate e disegnate da M. Delfico (“Album of caricatures in 24 tables, conceived and illustrated by M. Delfico”), published in Naples in 1860, just three years before the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in Turin.

One of his favorite subjects was, of course, his great friend Giuseppe Verdi, whom he represented in almost one hundred sketches and caricatures.

Photos via:

May 25, 2015