Peter Paul, attr. RubensNetherlands 1577-1640
Madonna and Inftant with St. Katerine 25.0233
Mid-17th century landscape painting in Italy was divided between the classicists, like Nicolas Poussin, who strove for clarity, grandeur, a strong narrative, and a minimum of "actors," and artists such as Salvatore Rosa, who utilized violent, turbulent action, stormy weather conditions, and frequently, many figures. Rosa's particular attention to nature had its origins in Northern landscape practices that were brought to Italy in the 16th century by Netherlandish artists. Rosa was born near Naples, but lived most of his life in Florence and Rome. Although active as a history painter, he is most well known for his landscapes of battle scenes and banditti (bandits). These are often sinister in tonality and mood, and incorporate menacing landscape elements and sharp diagonals in the composition. It is not known whether these two scenes represent actual battles or imaginary ones.
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