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Crescenzio Onofri, View of the Roman Campagna
Material and technique
oil on canvas
147 x 220 cm
Alessandro Zuccari

The painting, dated towards the end of the seventeenth century, is of a wide landscape, an idealized depiction of the countryside around Rome. In the background a small town guarded by imposing towers and the outline of a mountain reminiscent of the Monte Soratte that overlooks the valley of the Tiber to the north of Rome. On the right, a magnificent centuries-old oak tree frames the scene like the curtain in a theatre. The banks of the river winding through the valley rise sharply into outcrops of tufa stone at the point where a steep waterfall forms. The landscape is peopled with various figures, including a shepherd with his flock. In the foreground, on the right, a man wearing a hat sits down to rest, a bundle at his side, while two travellers, viewed from behind, continue on their way.
The painting is the work of the Roman artist Crescenzio Onofri, one of the most promising pupils of Gaspard Dughet, from whom he learnt this style of landscape, later developing it further. The composition is reminiscent of the powerful views of nature that the French master created around the middle of the seventeenth century. The small figures may have been painted by an assistant, possibly the Florentine Francesco Petrucci.
View of the Roman Campagna
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