Alessandro Magnasco

Banditti at Rest

Banditti at Rest
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Alessandro Magnasco
Landscape, Painting, Oil on canvas, 112x162 cm
Origin: Italy, 1710s

This is one of a series of four canvases, two of which show scenes of bacchanalia, and the other two of which are traditionally known in Russian as The Bandits' Halt. All four paintings arrived in Russia during the artist's lifetime, in the reign of Elizaveta Petrovna .

Magnasco's temperamental and whimsical art leads the viewer into a fantastical world filled with strange and mysterious figures. Monks, gypsies and soldiers seem to be living amongst the ruins. Their figures are painted with sharp, broken strokes and a sketchy manner which reinforces the infernal impression. The Baroque ruins, stretching up high into the sky, seem to be decorated with statues coming to life. These architectural backgrounds were the work of Clemente Spero. Despite the accepted Russian title of the painting and the presence of a large number of weapons scattered around, we should not see in this work too specific a scene, but rather a fantasy of mixed elements.

Source of entry: Museum of the Academy of Arts, Petrograd, 1922
School: Genoese
Theme: Architecture

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