Luca Giordano (Italian, 1634—1705) was born in Naples, the son of a painter. He showed early talent and a natural ability to copy other artists’ working styles. His father may have been the source of Luca’s nickname, “Luca Fa Presto,” or “Luca Works-Fast,” for his quick and versatile working style.
Beginning about 1650, Giordano is thought to have trained with Jusepe de Ribera (1591—1652), a Spanish painter who became the leading artist in the city of Naples, which was then under Spanish rule. The Entombment altarpiece dates to about this time, when Giordano was only in his late teens, and reflects Ribera’s influence. Giordano developed his own style and continued to work successfully in Naples, Venice, Florence, and Rome before spending 10 years in Madrid, Spain at the invitation of King Charles II. Upon his return to Naples, Giordano still painted prolifically. He also mentored and generously contributed to the financial support of many less-successful artists.