(b Naples, Feb 18, 1675; d Naples, April 2, 1748).
Italian architect and painter. Together with Domenico Antonio Vaccaro he was the principal architect in Naples in the first half of the 18th century. The variations he made to the Roman and Neapolitan architectural styles of his time were often determined by considerations of space and cost and achieved with a sensitive regard for the simple materials he used, notably tufa and piperno (the local black lavic stone). The Rococo effect of his buildings came not through the juxtaposition of decorative features, but through an imaginative use of the architectural elements at his disposal. In this he resembled Francesco Borromini and Filippo Juvarra. In his secular buildings he made original and effective use of the staircases.
Sanfelice came from a noble family and was expected to pursue a career in law, but he was permitted to abandon this in order to study under Francesco Solimena. According to the anonymous author of a lengthy biography of Solimena published as the introduction to an edition published in Naples of Pellegrino Antonio Orlandi’s ...