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Jan Frans Van Bloemen , nicknamed l’Orizzonte Landscape with Lake, Castle and Figures
18th century
Material and technique
oil on canvas
136 x 106 cm
Alessandro Zuccari
The landscape is framed at the sides by two groups of trees, painted with great attention to detail, and in the distance by the outline of a mountain range. The raised viewpoint confers great breadth on the scene; it is a device for the experienced painter and its use earned van Bloemen the soubriquet ‘Orizzonte’ among colleagues from the Schildersbent, the guild of Dutch and Flemish artists active in Rome from the 1620s. Among the figures in the foreground a traveller in a red tunic, one shoulder bare, stands out; he recalls the central figure in Hilly Landscape at Tivoli in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica at Palazzo Barberini. Of great effect is the silhouette of the reclining shepherd, like a river god, calling to mind a classical motive in the painting of Claude Lorrain.
This veduta, based on the actual countryside around Rome, is not entirely realistic, however. Van Bloemen’s paintings were inspired by a classical, Arcadian ideal, with cultural references to the idyllic landscapes of the Carracci brothers and French painters. The formula he adopted was adapted to the particular artistic, philosophical and literary climate that the Accademia dell’Arcadia introduced in Rome as a reaction to the excesses of late Baroque style.
Landscape with Lake, Castle and Figures
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