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Oil painting - Landscape with Woodcutters
  • Landscape with Woodcutters
    Ricci, Marco, born 1676 - died 1730
  • Enlarge image

Landscape with Woodcutters

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    1700-1710 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ricci, Marco, born 1676 - died 1730 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Margaret Coutts Trotter

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Marco Ricci (1676-1730) was born in Venice from where he fled to Split in Dalmatia having murdered a gondolier. This happened around 1696 shortly after he became his uncle's, Sebastiano Ricci, pupil. He remained there for four years concentrating on landscape painting, a training that he put in good use once back in Venice in 1700 as he started depicting theatrical sceneries. Unlike his uncle, little is known on Marco's artistic development although he seems to have collaborated with Alessandro Magnasco (1667-1749) and Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (1675-1741) with whom he went to England and the Netherlands.

This painting is a good example of Marco Ricci's early production, probably executed during his first in England. It shows a mountainous landscape with a bending road on the left, counterbalanced by the river running on the opposite side. The small figure are carrying wood on chariot led by horses while imposing houses are placed on the right river bank.

Physical description

A mountainous landscape with a river and houses on the right bank with a bending road on the left and woodcutters with chariots and animals grouped in the foreground.

Place of Origin

London (probably, painted)


1700-1710 (painted)


Ricci, Marco, born 1676 - died 1730 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas


Height: 115.5 cm approx., Width: 175.3 cm approx., Height: 1440 mm frame, Width: 2030 mm frame, Width: 130 mm frame

Object history note

Given by Miss Margaret Coutts Trotter, 1882

Historical significance: Formerly attributed to A. Both, this painting had been reattributed to Marco Ricci by Anthony Blunt and Malcolm Waddingham (oral opinions).
The attribution to Marco Ricci was confirmed by A. Scarpa Sonino who proposed a date during Marco's first visit to England, that is 1708-1710.
The composition scheme recurs quite frequently in Ricci's oeuvre with rocks and edifices used as repoussoir devices which enhances the sense of depth. This painting belongs to the early career of the artist who would intensify his palette with warm reddish hues over the years.
Similar compositions with small figures grouped in a corner of the picture, which look overwhelmed by the grandiose of the vegetation can be found in such pictures as Brigands' attack Private collection, Belluno, anticipating somehow the Romantic period during which nature will be used to describe man's sentiments. The large atmospheric skies against which the trees are silhouetted are recurrent in Ricci's oeuvre and display his Venetian heritage.
The same subject matter was treated by the artist in a quite different way in Lansdscape with Woodcutters in Castle Howard.

Historical context note

A 'veduta' is a painted, drawn or engraved composition representing a landscape or town view that is largely topographical in conception and was generally displayed as wall schemes for interior decoration. This genre painting became particularly popular in Venice during the era of the Grand Tour of Europe, stimulated by the need of recording topographical settings. Painters who produced 'vedute' were known as 'vedutisti' and benefited from the technical support of the 'camera obscura', a box with a small hole used as an optical device to improve the representation of the natural world, especially the perspective. Many of the vedutisti also produced 'capricci' i.e. compositions that combine imaginary and realistic architectural features in a picturesque setting. The genre declined during the early part of the next century and was gradually transformed by the Romanticism into a vehicle for emotional responses to the visible world. The 'veduta' was however eventually supplanted by the invention of photography in the 19th century.

Descriptive line

Oil painting on canvas, 'Landscape with Woodcutters', Marco Ricci, ca. 1710

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

C.M. Kauffmann, Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 237.
A. Scarpa Sonino, Marco Ricci, Milan, 1991, no. 45, p. 125 not illus.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Horses; Woodcutters; Chariot; Trees; Landscape; River




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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