ALESSANDRO MAGNASCO (Genoa 1667 - 1749) and ANTONIO FRANCESCO PERUZZINI (Ancona 1643/46 - 1724 Milan)

Previously unpublished, these canvases constitute a significant addition to the oeuvre of Alessandro Magnasco and his long-time collaborator, Antonio Francesco Peruzzini.  Conceived as a pair from the start, these well-preserved canvases display mirroring compositions that feature a stream running through the centre flanked by trees that guide the viewer’s gaze into the scene.  Nature takes the centre stage of both canvases, while the silhouettes of towers and towns are visible in the distance.  Immersed in Peruzzini’s landscape, Magnasco’s figures are occupied with their everyday lives, some watching their sheep, others washing clothes, resting or reading.

Anna Orlando, who confirms the attribution to Magnasco and Peruzzini in full, suggests dating the present works to the late 17th Century, the beginning of the collaboration between the two painters. Indeed, upon comparison with their more mature work, such as the pair of landscapes now in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, dated by scholars to 1719-20, the brushwork in the present pair appears more descriptive and the figures more defined. Thanks to the excellent state of conservation of both canvases, the colours have remained rich and the loaded brushstrokes can still be picked out, giving texture to the painted surface.

A wooded landscape with travellers and washerwomen by a stream, a fortified town in the background

A wooded landscape with travellers resting by a stream, a fortified castle in the background

A pair, oil on canvas, 117 x 175.5 cm

Anna Orlando, written communication

Comparative Literature
L. Muti, D. De Sarno Prignano, Antonio Francesco Peruzzini, Faenza 1996;
F. Franchini Guelfi, Alessandro Magnasco, Genova 1977; 
L. Muti, D. De Sarno Prignano, Alessandro Magnasco, Faenza 1994; 
Alessandro Magnasco 1667-1749, exhibition catalogue, 1996; 
Antonio Francesco Peruzzini, exhibition catalogue, Ancona, ed. M. Gregori e P. Zampetti, Milano 1997.