Lot N: 0336
FRANCESCO ZUCCARELLI (1702 - 1788)
141 x 77 cm
The artwork is accompained by a card by Federica Spadotto.
Bibliography of reference: E. Martini, La pittura veneziana del Settecento, Venezia, 1964;
F. Spadotto, Francesco Zuccarelli, catalogo ragionato dei dipinti, Milano, 2007.
The painting in question harbours a large country track with a stream where some herds drink; next to them stands a young woman on horseback, to whome some peasants turn on the other side. Very similar to the example "zuccarelliano"i made known by Martini (1964) and already in private collection in Lombardy, shares its English origin and chronology. As for the first aspect, in fact, although the origjnal location is not known, a nineteenth century cartouche places on the back of the frame records the presence of our work overseas, that is, in the nation that had loved Francesco's painting more than any other, and than hosted the artist for a long time (1752-1762; 1765-1771) conferring him the maximum honors ( the Pitiglianese was the only Italian to serve as founding member of the Royal Academy). As for, instead, the placemetnt in the corpus of the Tuscan master, significant and illuminating stylistic-formal characteristics determine a limited chronological height in the late sixties, or close to the definitive return to Italy (1771). To this conclusion we are led by the analysis of the work, which hosts the platform of references linked to the lucky Arcadian recipe conaminated by a macrocosm of pure Nordic ancestry, traverse by mood completely foreign to the "rococo vezzoso", on the basis of the results of contemporary British painting. In the inspiration appears to be closely linked to a compositional bouquet already frequented on several occasions in the middle of the century ( cf. Spadotto, 2007, cat. 57, 107; figg. 1-2), ours does not fail to introduce a completely new spirit,able to revisit himself in the light of an art in continuous confrontation with the moods of his own epoch. Such capacity to receive suggestions has very distant roots, that sink in the youth of Zuccarelli, when still very young frequents in Florence (1728-1732) the collection of Niccolò Gabburri, which boasted firstfruits of the major European schools thanks to the fruitful intellectual exchange with the Mariette. Looking at our painting, it seems as if we are witnessing a summa of what has been reported, as within the confines of the canvas a thematic universe is "shredded", poetic expressive characterized by a synthesis and an awareness that only a great teacher would be able to formalize. In this scenario dominates the usual, large tree with a large crown that overlooks the two characters in the foreground, marked by an accentuated realism, reminiscent of the riccesca season (Marco Ricci, Belluno, 1676 - Venice 1730) frequented by the Pitiglianese in the thirties (Spadotto, op. cit, pp.16-18). The chromatic register, played on the contrast between the blue of the sky and the earthy tones in the foreground, lit by the red cloth on which the girl is placed on the left margin of the composition, testifies, instead, the influence of contemporary Thomas Gainsborough ( Sudbury 1727 - London 1788) a privileged reference for Francesco in the seventh decade. As reported above, we are witnessing a real dialogue between schools very different, repeated from the stylistic point of view, where dominates a real difference between characters and country background: the ones, real seals-poetic artist, are defined by a soft brush stroke, but at the same time attentive to detail; the other, puntuated by the usual rustic buildings, betrays an expressive urgency already almost involved in the romantic language, which in England boasts among the most significant seasons.