PAINTER FROM THE 18TH CENTURY
Architectonic caprice with pair of lovers
oil on canvas, 170×116 cm
This large canvas with a rounded upper edge – which was probably made as a decoration, along with other similar works, for a room in a palazzo or villa – features an elegant couple strolling among majestic imaginary ruins. The fascinating representation of old buildings and ruins reflects a taste for the picturesque that became widespread in Europe in the 18th century.
The combination of buildings from classical antiquity, as the one in the foreground, with buildings evoking the old Medieval city states – as the large Gothic arch above the public street – indicate that the canvas may have been painted towards the end of the Eighteenth century, in a climate characterized by a pride in, and rediscovery of, the roots of national identity, retraced with increasing interest to the times of the belligerent and independent republics of the Middle Ages.