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Jan Frans Van Bloemen , nicknamed l’Orizzonte River Landscape with Castle Ruins
early-mid 18th century
Material and technique
oil on canvas
74 x 98 cm
Alessandro Zuccari
At the centre of this pleasant scene the artist has placed a stream, broken by the lively presence of a small waterfall. The banks are covered with a dense growth of Mediterranean vegetation, including oak and ilex. A few small figures add interest to the scene, among which a shepherd with a large flock in the middle ground on the left and a man and a woman talking animatedly. In the background, the elegant landscape is dominated by the imposing ruins of a castle standing out against the horizon.
Stylistically, the work belongs to the mature period of van Bloemen, who was born in Frankfurt, and can probably be dated around 1740. The choice of well-ordered compositions, in which each element is carefully assigned a place in the scene, and the use of particularly warm, luminous colours alongside a pastel palette are two characteristics of van Bloemen’s oeuvre.  These qualities, which emphasize the artist’s adherence to the classical vision of Arcadia typical of early-eighteenth-century Roman art, allowed him to enjoy considerable fortune during his lifetime among important collectors in the Papal capital.
River Landscape with Castle Ruins
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