Italian painter. He belonged to a large and important family of Neapolitan painters and was one of many artists influenced by the dramatic light effects of the Caravaggisti, followers of Caravaggio.
He first studied literature but at an early age turned to painting. He was probably a pupil of the late-Mannerist painter Gerolamo Imparato, though there are no known works from this period. About 1620 he became a follower of Caravaggio; he copied Caravaggio s Flagellation (Naples, Capodimonte), and his copy and the original hung in S Domenico Maggiore, Naples (copy in situ). David with the Head of Goliath (Florence, Fondazione Longhi) and Sebastian (Naples, Capodimonte) are early works indebted to Caravaggio s naturalism and chiaroscuro.
After 1630 Vaccaro drew inspiration from Guido Reni,
Anthony van Dyck
and Pietro Novelli
and made copies of their works for Neapolitan collectors and dealers such as Gaspar Roomer and Jan Vandeneyden. Abraham and the Angels (private collection) dates from this period; Reni s images of saints are the forerunners of his St Rosalia (mid-1630s; Madrid, Prado) and Penitent Magdalene (1636; Naples, Certosa di S Martino, chapel of St Martin).
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