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Jan Frans Van Bloemen , nicknamed l’Orizzonte River Landscape with Aqueduct and Figures
first quarter of the 18th century
Material and technique
oil on canvas
74 x 62 cm
Alessandro Zuccari
The wide landscape contains a river in the middle ground and behind it some ancient buildings, including a pyramid, an obelisk and the arches of an aqueduct. The right side of the canvas is dominated by a huge tree, perhaps an oak, beneath which a shepherd rests on a staff, talking to two peasant women. In the foreground, a few goats wander and some travellers can be seen along a path and on the banks of the river.
The canvas is oval in shape and was originally part of an important series of four paintings by the artist, three of which are now in a private collection in Rome. All four works are of the same size and set in identical elaborate frames and all display the same stylistic brilliance. One of the group of three canvases bears the date 1714, allowing the whole set to be dated.  It is the oldest dated work by the artist, although he had already begun to paint towards the end of the seventeenth century. In this vibrant landscape, all the features typical of van Bloemen’s work are present, such as his habit of depicting ruins and the choice of Latium landscapes with poetic pastoral overtones.
River Landscape with Aqueduct and Figures
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