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Salvator Rosa painted portraits, battle, mythological, and religious scenes, as well as imaginary landscapes. In Rosa’s landscapes, human and animal staffage plays a subordinate role in the composition, whose disturbing, poetic mood is evoked by representations of rocks, twisted trees, and ancient ruins.

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Salvator Rosa was born in 1615 in Arenella near Naples. He first studied painting in Naples, at the studio of his brother-in-law, Francesca Francanzani, and then at the studios of Jusepe de Ribery and Aniello Falconengego. At this stage, Ribera’s realistic painting had a significant impact on his style. In 1635, encouraged by the painter Giovanni Lanfranco, he left for Rome, where – with intermissions – he lived until his death in 1673. Rosa, apart from painting, also dabbled in drawing, graphics, poetry and even acting, which is connected with an interesting story. In the prologue of a comedy, staged during the carnival of 1693 in Rome by his amateur troupe, he ridiculed Gianlorenz Bernini, who was a famous and influential sculptor and, as a result, he had to promptly leave the city. Rosa went to Florence, where he lived in the years 1640–1649, enjoying the patronage of cardinal Carlo de Medici. There, he also founded Academia dei Percossi, which brought together artists and writers. In 1649, he returned to Rome, where he was a successful painter until the end of his life.
Salvator Rosa painted portraits, battle, mythological, and religious scenes, as well as imaginary landscapes. In Rosa’s landscapes, human and animal staffage plays a subordinate role in the composition, whose disturbing, poetic mood is evoked by representations of rocks, twisted trees, and ancient ruins.
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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“Landscape with staffage” by Salvator Rosa

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