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Material and technique
oil on canvas
40 x 80 cm
Alessandro Zuccari
Under a luminous sky, two characters are depicted in conversation by a stream. The elderly traveller, clothed in red, appears to be asking directions from a peasant woman sitting on the ground. Behind the trees in the middle ground the sun shines down on a small town. The role of this town in the structure of the painting is far from secondary and the artist lingers on the walls, the houses, the tall crenellated tower, the roofs and the smoke from the chimneys.
Like other works by the artist in the Bank of Italy’s collection, this landscape illustrates van Bloemen’s predilection for depicting village buildings observed in the countryside around Rome with the same painstaking care he used to paint trees, leaves and other elements of nature, recording every variation in shade. This tendency emerges also in the work of Andrea Locatelli and Hans Frans van Lint and is a characteristic of the seventeenth-century classical landscape. The majestic trees standing at the edge of the scene are a feature that recurs fairly often in the work of van Bloemen, reflecting the artist’s habit of drawing from life and later painting his canvases from the details of nature sketched in his notebook.
Landscape with Figures
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