Canvas of 94 cm by 70
Frame of 110 cm by 86
Salvator Rosa (1615-1673)
Neapolitan painter, who was also an engraver, musician and poet. Salvator Rosa spent most of his career in Rome. An original, unstable and tormented personality, he was very successful in painting "small figures and paintings not very large, wonderfully brushed" representing "knaves, galley slaves, sailors" (Passeri), but it is above all as a landscape painter which he conquered, and preserved, a prominent place.
Formed in Naples at the Caravaggio Francesco Fracanzano, his brother-in-law, he gathers through him Ribera's naturalist vision, to which he also owes his taste for drawing, a very free graphic expression, in which the rapidly entangled traits often enhanced by watercolor, give rise to both movement and modeling. His virtuosity in this field can be seen in the Horne Museum's travel diary in Florence and in the white-painted bistre sketches at the Palazzo Pitti near the paintings he painted in Florence during the period when he was called Gian-Carlo de Medici (1641-1649): The Forest of the Philosophers, Marine with a castle, Navy with towers, Cavalry fighting.
These compositions, such as the Battle of the Naples Museum or the strange Soldier and Witch (Capitoline Museum, Rome), The Precipice, the Shepherds in the ruins, The Conjurates (Corsini Gallery, Rome), testify to a frantic imagination, haunted by fantasies and caprices, but also by a real sensitivity to the violence of warfare as well as to that of natural phenomena: tornadoes, collapses, torn trees. In this way, Salvator Rosa determined a decisive evolution in landscape painting by substituting for the classical tradition, that of Claude Lorrain, a formula of truly romantic inspiration that Alessandro Magnasco and Marco Ricci