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The present picture shows a pastoral scene typical of the painter. The work is kept in a warm, narrow colour range dominated by bronzes. The weather, captured perfectly by the painter, evokes the impression of hot and humid August afternoons: dark, stormy clouds are hanging over the hot, steaming earth below which birds are flying, escaping from the impending storm.

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Peter Philipp Roos, called Rosa da Tivoli, was born in the 1650s in Frankfurt am Main and died in Rome in 1705 or 1706. He was the oldest son and student of the Protestant animal painter Johann Heinrich Roos. After receiving basic education in his father’s workshop, Peter Philipp continued his painting education in Italy thanks to the financial support of the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel. During his stay in Italy, he mainly lived in Rome, where, with time, he settled permanently, married the daughter of the Roman religious painter Giacinto Brandti and converted to Catholicism.
After his wedding, Roos moved to Tivoli, where, as it is believed, he was lured by the natural setting. At his new home, Roos bred animals that he drew and painted. The resulting studies of animals facilitated his painting. Jealous colleagues mocked Roosa’s house in Tivoli, calling it Noah’s Ark.
All four sons of Johann Heinrich Roos followed in their father’s footsteps and painted scenes depicting animals, but Peter Philipp was the one who achieved the greatest professional success. His works differ from the paintings of his brothers and father, although they involve similar subjects. Peter Philipp abandoned the Dutch manners characteristic of his father’s paintings and drew formal patterns from the tradition of Italian painting. Roos created mainly idyllic pastoral scenes set against the landscapes of Italy: mainly Lazio and Tuscany. The characteristic mid-Italian landforms and Mediterranean vegetation were accompanied by representations of Italian architecture, including sentimentally portrayed Roman ruins: silent witnesses to the great past.
The present picture shows a pastoral scene typical of the painter. The work is kept in a warm, narrow colour range dominated by bronzes. The weather, captured perfectly by the painter, evokes the impression of hot and humid August afternoons: dark, stormy clouds are hanging over the hot, steaming earth below which birds are flying, escaping from the impending storm. In the foreground, among the brown, dried vegetation, Roos depicted animals – cattle and goats – resting after the summer heat. A shepherd is watching over the herd, leaning against a tree and looking to get some rest. He spends the slow-flowing time playing the pipe. Is it possible to imagine a more typical image of a shepherd? In the background, one can see a man driving a loaded horse and, further in the distance, a typically Italian town or perhaps a monastery.

Bibliography:

  1. Heinrich Weizsäcker, Roos, Philipp Peter, [in] Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. 53, 1907, pp. 458–459.

Elaborated by Adam Spodaryk (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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Animal and plant painting

As early as in the 17th century, some painters specialised in creating representations of plants and animals. These painters performed unassisted floral and animal compositions, or, much like still lifes specialists, were employed as assistants by painters specialising in historical painting (i.e. historical, religious and mythological).

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As early as in the 17th century, some painters specialised in creating representations of plants and animals. These painters performed unassisted floral and animal compositions, or, much like still lifes specialists, were employed as assistants by painters specialising in historical painting (i.e. historical, religious and mythological). This type of cooperation was practised, for instance, in the workshop of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). In the great compositions of the famous Antwerpian painter, one can distinguish the hand of other well-known artists of his time. Animals in Rubens’ mythological and hunting scenes were often painted by Frans Snyders (1579–1657), flowers (in religious paintings or as an element of still lifes in portraits) by Jan Brueghel the Elder called Velvet (1568–1625), son of the famous Flemish artist Pieter Breugel the Elder (d. 1569).
Together with the development of European graphics, engravings also appeared which constituted illustrations of zoological, botanical and pharmaceutical dissertations. In addition, the blossoming of the seventeenth century flower trade in the Netherlands created a demand for copperplate engravings depicting flowers. These were used as catalogues and advertisements, but they were also collected and even used by artists as templates for floral motifs used to create painting compositions.

Elaborated by Adam Spodaryk (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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“A pastoral scene against the landscape” by Peter Philipp Roos

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