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Oil painting - Landscape with Mountains in the Distance
  • Landscape with Mountains in the Distance
    Ricci, Marco, born 1676 - died 1730
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Landscape with Mountains in the Distance

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Date:

    early 18th century (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ricci, Marco, born 1676 - died 1730 (painted by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Margaret Coutts Trotter

  • Museum number:

    1447-1882

  • Gallery location:

    On display at Osterley Park House, London

Marco Ricci (1676- 1730) was a painter, printmaker and stage designer. A nephew of the painter Sebastiano Ricci, he probably began his career in Venice as his uncle's pupil and later spent four years in Split, Dalmatia, where he apprenticed to a landscape painter. His earliest dated works, View with Classical Ruins (1702; priv. col.), and a Landscape with Fishermen (1703; ex-Kupferstichkab., Berlin; untraced), are serene and classical. In 1708, Ricci left for England via the Netherlands, where he absorbed characteristics of Dutch landscapes. His works consist of a variety of pastoral scenes, Mediterranean ports, thickly wooded countryside with travellers, and winter scenes. He also made larger ruin pieces and capriccios that blend the realistic with the fantastical. Both Ricci's etched and painted landscapes were seminal to the development of the genre in 18th-century Venice and his art influenced painters such as Canaletto, Francesco Guardi and the etcher Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
This work closely resembles Ricci's landscapes of the 1720s in both composition and execution and his diminuative peasant figures particularly recall those which populate Ricci's pastoral landscapes. The warm colouring, meandering path, distant blue mountains and river in the foreground are all characteristic of Ricci's work in the first decades of the 18th century, visible for example in his Landscape with River and Figures ca. 1720 now in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Venice. While the quality of 1447-1882 is very high, it lacks the delicacy and attention to detail that Ricci lavished on his landscapes suggesting that it was painted by an artist working close to the Master.

Physical description

An Italianate mountainous landscape with a river in the foreground and a meandering path at left along which travels a man leading two donkeys, and another mounted figure just visible in the distance

Date

early 18th century (painted)

Artist/maker

Ricci, Marco, born 1676 - died 1730 (painted by)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Height: 96.5 cm estimate, Width: 116.8 cm estimate

Object history note

Given by Miss Margaret Coutts Trotter, 1882

Historical significance: Marco Ricci (1676- 1730) was a painter, printmaker and stage designer. A nephew of the painter Sebastiano Ricci, he probably began his career in Venice as his uncle's pupil, but fled the city after murdering a gondolier and spent the next four years in Split, Dalmatia, where he apprenticed to a landscape painter. Little is known of his early development, but his earliest dated works, View with Classical Ruins (1702; priv. col.), and a Landscape with Fishermen (1703; ex-Kupferstichkab., Berlin; untraced), are serene and classical. In 1708, Ricci left for England via the Netherlands, where he absorbed characteristics of Dutch landscapes. His works consist of a variety of pastoral scenes, Mediterranean ports, thickly wooded countryside with travellers, and winter scenes. He also made larger ruin pieces and capriccios that blend the realistic with the fantastical. Many of his landscapes were engraved and published immediately after his death in Carlo Orsolini's volume of Varia Marci Ricci experimenta… (Venice, 1730). Both Ricci's etched and painted landscapes were seminal to the development of the genre in 18th-century Venice and his art influenced painters such as Canaletto, Michele Giovanni Marieschi, Francesco Guardi, Francesco Zuccarelli, and the etcher Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
This work closely resembles Ricci's landscapes of the 1720s in both composition and execution and his diminuative peasant figures particularly recall those which populate Ricci's pastoral landscapes. The warm colouring, meandering path, distant blue mountains and river in the foreground are all characteristic of Ricci's work in the first decades of the 18th century, visible for example in his Landscape with River and Figures ca. 1720 now in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Venice. While the quality of 1447-1882 is very high, it lacks the delicacy and attention to detail that Ricci lavished on his landscapes suggesting that it was painted by an artist working close to the Master.

Historical context note

Although France and England became the new centres of landscape art in the 18th century, the Italian and Dutch traditions retained their authority, although the arcadian vision of Italy increasingly tended towards a more precise observation of nature. Some of the most exciting developments took place in Venice, in the soft, Claudean scenes of Francesco Zuccarelli, and the fresh, spontaneous landscapes of Marco Ricci. Wealthy patrons, often accompanied by artists, on The Grand Tour, created a market for topographical, Capriccio and Veduta landscape paintings. Landscape conventions were further enriched by foreign artists working in Italy, responding both to the beauty of Italian light and scenery celebrated by the Latin poets and vividly captured in the great landscapes of Claude, Poussin and Dughet.

Descriptive line

Oil painting, 'Landscape with Mountains in the Distance', North Italian School, Early 18th century

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

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 159, cat. no. 194.

Production Note

Formerly attributed to Andrea Locatelli (1893) and to an unknown North Italian artist of the same period, this work is closer in composition and execution to the works of Marco Ricci.

Materials

Oil paint; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Mountains; Trees; Landscape; Ass (animal)

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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