Circa 1700 Italy
Circle of Jan Frans van Blomen, called Orizzonte, A Classical Landscape
Height 20 inches (51 cm)
Width 25 1/2 inches (65 cm)
Depth 1 3/4 inches (4.5 cm)
Circle of Jan Frans van Blomen, called Orizzonte c.1700
A classical landscape with ruins and a seated shepherd in the foreground
Oil on canvas; held in a period style frame.
Inspired by the great landscape painters of the 17th century, this painting echoes strongly the work of Jan van Blomen, an enterprising Dutchman who travelled to Italy and made his name there with similar views earning the nickname “Orizzonte” which reflected his proficiency in panoramic landscapes. Bloemen in turn was heavily indebted to the twin masters of the genre Gaspard Dughet and Nicolas Poussin.
The far reaching landscape in this picture compositionally follows a distinct pattern with eye catching elements in both foreground and background noticeably the temple on the hill on the left (which echoes the temple of Vesta at Tivoli) and the five arched bridge towards the right in the distance; the goat herder with his animals adds a note of reality, albeit a well poised one. The overall panorama projects a sense of ordered calm where the essential components or passages of the pastoral landscape are highlighted by the use of light and colour, or by their placement in the composition. Such idealized classical views based on the countryside around Rome proved extremely popular with both locals and visitors on the grand tour.