Lot N: 0193
GIUSEPPE ZAIS (1709 - 1784)
71.5 x 54 cm
The painting is accompanied by a card by Dario Succi.
This pleasant river landscape is the work of Giuseppe zais, the artist who was one of the most important exponents of landscape painting of the eighteenth century Venetian. The pictorial production of zais is not documented before the forties of the eighteenth century: its name appears in the registers of the fraglia (corporation) of Venetian painters from 1748 until 1768. In the fifties he was in the service of Joseph Smith, English consul in Venice, and, between 1760 and 1765, worked for the Pisani family, frescoing some corridors of the festive villa on the street. In the sixties it was joined to the school of painters of Venice; in 1774 it was elected member of the Venetian Academy of Painting and Sculpture.
Interpreting in an original way the teachings of Battalist Francesco simonini, Marco Ricci and Francesco Zuccarelli, the artist was able to express his creative flair in a conspicuous production of landscapes touched with great sensitivity, orchestrated on a chromatic range with prevailing earthy shades, with bright skies that towards the horizon tend to merge with the outlines of the blue mountains. While in the mature period zais mainly uses a lean and synthetic touch that enhances the freshness of landscape vision, a significant part of the final phase of the pictorial production is characterized by strong chiaroscuro contrasts that the passage of time, with the outcrop of the reddish preparation of the canvas, has sometimes accentuated.
According to Rodolfo Pallucchini the staging of zais landscapes "always remembers its mountain valleys: but it is a harsher nature, sometimes dramatic, expressed in a consistent way with a painting full of chiaroscuro contrasts, woven in warm and brownish tones".
The painting studied here, dating back to the late seventies of the eighteenth century, is characterized by a perspective setting that stages a river landscape with a waterfall surrounded by leafy trees and a steep cliff with on top a rustic house. The first floor is animated by dots of laundries and fishermen that constitute an almost inevitable motif in the artist’s pictorial production.
The brushstrokes, slightly materic, model the various compositional elements, particularly happy in the skilful rendering of the soil and the leafy trees, of curly taste, touched with skill. The vast expanse of the sky is furrowed by transcolouring clouds in delicate tonalities that seem to merge into the outlines of the distant mountains.