This characteristic work by Viviano Codazzi dates to the 1660s and can be compared with the Courtyard of a palace in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica at Palazzo Corsini in Rome, similarly signed with a monogram and dated 1664. This capriccio combines the artist’s rich understanding of the technical aspects of architectural rendering with his vivid imagination. The powerful motif of the two oversized statues under the arcade at the far end of the courtyard is particularly noteworthy as it rarely appears in Codazzi’s work – one of the figures is based on the Dioscuri in Piazza del Quirinale and the other on the Hercules Farnese. The airy courtyard is set against a view of Naples, with the Molo, the lighthouse and Mount Vesuvius erupting.
Professor David R. Marshall has confirmed the attribution in a private correspondence with the owner (dated 23 May 2008). He notes that the architecture, the details and the colouring are typical of Viviano Codazzi’s style of the 1660s, and that the figures and possibly the two statues are probably by a yet to be identified collaborator.