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Viviano Codazzi, Urban Landscape with Figures
1630 ca.
Material and technique
oil on canvas
58 x 137 cm
Alessandro Zuccari
In Codazzi’s completely imaginary landscape groups of figures are depicted in a square bordered on two sides by imposing constructions. On the left, behind columns supporting a balcony, an archway appears to give onto a side street. Beyond it, an elegant portico, supported by pairs of columns with Ionic capitals, projects into the square. The background is filled by a large, complex building with an atrium on the ground floor and an open loggia on the first, surmounted by a geometrical tower on two levels.
This architectural landscape well illustrates the painter’s skill in the composition of scenes. He cleverly creates on canvas the image of a non-existent Italian city, which he evokes through the classical style of the architecture. The long shadows of the buildings indicate that the scene takes place in the early evening, with people crowding back into the square after the heat of the day. The clothing and postures of the small, lively figures recall the work of the Bamboccianti, a group of painters who popularized such genre scenes in Rome in the seventeenth century and whom Codazzi frequented. It has been suggested that the figures were painted by François Perrier, a French artist working in Rome, who often undertook such projects.
Urban Landscape with Figures
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