This airy "Landscape", oil painting on canvas measuring 49 x 66 without frame and 60 x 80 cm with a coeval frame, with an opening on a hilly background, framed between two ancient twisted trees on the left, one with little foliage and the other truncated at the top, and a steep cliff on the right, covered by a low arboreal vegetation, is singularly characterized by the figurative group in the foreground on the right.
At a rock ledge are two soldiers, one standing with helmet, breastplate, red cloak and spear in his right hand, the other equally harnessed and the shaft in his left, seated from behind next to a grieving young man, with a bowed face. resting on the left hand. The inventiveness of which clearly refers to the figurative repertoire of Salvator Rosa, even with a direct take from one of his engravings (from the "Series of figurines", engraved by "Carolo Rubeo") for the young man, absorbed in his thoughts, generally considered by critics as a prisoner of the two armigers.
Even the landscape taste of the scene generically refers to Rosa, but with an evident more advanced representative transcription, the examination of which leads us with palpable evidence to the name of Andrea Locatelli (Rome 1695 - 1751), for the full confirmation of its typological imprint, united to the pictorial one, in the drafting of all the landscape parameters, and in particular those of the trees and foliage, as well as of the earthly vegetation.
A confirmation from which emerges its peculiar chromatism imbued with light, with which it achieves brilliant effects of airiness by means of a suffused pictorialism, in this case well enhanced by the rustling of the foliage.
The effect achieved is that of returning the whole of a romantic and quiet representation at the same time, real but tending towards the ideal, thanks to a wise distribution of space and wide strokes of color.
The scene is theatrically composed, through a decorative subdivision of the image and a use of chiaroscuro at the service of emotion, framed by woodland wings, made of trees, bushes and rocks and by the diagonal sloping of the promontories, which outline the landscape, on which distributes the clear, clear light of the sky to the horizon. On the side of the composition, on the proscenium, the typical "Rosian" figurines are presented, immersed in a tonal brightness, but the field of view is only apparently casual, it is an open shot and attentive to the chromatic values of the light, to offer a show in balance between ideal and natural, of classical inspiration and poetics.
The representation, its composition and the pictorial material lead us to consider this painting the work of a mature artist, with a personal modus, determined through the assimilation of different models prevailing in the Roman area.
So the present "landscape" offers us one of the most explanatory examples of the basic ascendancy exercised by Salvator Rosa on Locatelli, as it is accompanied by a direct figurative comparison, and also pursued in the representation of the majestic secular trunks, characterizing the compositions of the Neapolitan master, and destined to appear in the Italian landscape until the whole of the eighteenth century.
However, the vast Rosian influence, deeply introduced into the Roman sphere above all by Jacob de Heusch, is modernly interpreted by Locatelli, as can be tasted in this canvas of his, centered on a warm chromatism and a brilliant luminosity, enhanced in those details - the three foliage and bark figures - which are directly hit by the sun's rays, or stand out against the light against the cloudy sky.
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