18th Century, Italian Oil on Canvas, Archaic Landscape with Figures and Pastures
Dimensions with frame: cm H 88 x W 114; only painted cm H 74 x W 100
The painting, oil on canvas, represents an archaic landscape of pastoral genre.
This kind of pictorial representation is affirmed in the 18th century, alongside the view and the architectural caprice, inspired by the rules of the Academy d'Arcadia. The new rules of Arcadia impose clear and courteous manners, playful rhythm and elegant form. These regulations dominate the Italian pictorial culture from the early 18th century, known as the Archaic Rococo, which soon attracted Italian and European artists who became interpreters of the graceful way that privileges the idyll and graceful and pathetic tones. The shepherd d'Arcadia, once full of allegorical meanings, is therefore transformed into an aristocratic figure, that is berger galant.
The painting depicts in the foreground, on the left, a couple of lovers sitting on a rock. Next to them a little dog runs in the meadow, while on the right some cows graze and drink in a lake of water. Behind them, in the background, is a flock of sheep and a wooden hut building with straw roofs. The landscape described, sometimes wooded, moves away to the horizon, marked by some rocky reliefs. Other figures of shepherds and wayfarers walk far, animating the composition.
Stylistically, this painting is close to the Venetian painting of the 18th century. In Venice (Italy), the greatest representatives of the archaic landscape were the tuscan Francesco Zuccarelli (Pitigliano 1702 - Florence 1788), active between 1731 and 1752 in the Serenissima and later in England, and his pupil Giuseppe Zais (Forno di Canale, Belluno, 1709 - Treviso 1784). Their works and this kind of idyllic view were greatly appreciated by the noble and bourgeois commissions of the time who therefore wished to adorn their residences with such bucolic subjects.
Many painters followed the great masters, drawing inspiration from their compositions to satisfy the vast demand for commissions. The author of this work should be sought among these artists, followers of the Zuccarelli and Zais modes and active in the second half of the eighteenth century, in the Venetian area.
Even today this genre of painting is very decorative and extremely pleasant, appreciated for the adaptability of exposure in any domestic environment, appropriate both in intimate and reserved places of the house, such as a studio or a room, or in living rooms or corridors. This work will also be appreciated if combined with paintings and antique and contemporary furniture and close to modern furnishings.
The work is in a good state of conservation.