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Title Landscape with a Lake and a Walled Town
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Cortona, Pietro da (Italian draftsman and painter, 1596-1669)
Date Earliest about 1625
Date Latest about 1635
Description Cortona's landscape drawings are extremely rare. With a few exceptions, they were executed almost entirely during his youth, having perhaps been inspired by contact with Claude Lorrain, who during the 1620s was working for the Crescenzi family who patronised Cortona.

In common with a series of frescoes Cortona painted for the Villa Sacchetti at Castelfusano from 1626-1629, Cortona's few oil landscapes have a remarkably free, loose brushwork which gives this painting an unexpectedly modern appearance. It is a fresh and personal response to the Roman Campagna.

The importance of Cortona's landscapes are in the link that they form between the classicising formality of Annibale Carracci and Domenichino and the move towards more spontaneous observation developed by Claude and Gaspar Dughet.

Current Accession Number 1985P61
Subject landscape (Roman campagna); townscape
Measurements 62.3 x 77.7 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased with the aid of the V & A Purchase Grant Fund, the National Art-Collections Fund and the Pilgrim Trust 1985.
Principal Exhibitions Important Italian Baroque Paintings, 1600 - 1700, Matthiesen Fine Art Ltd, 1981, cat. no. 29.
Publications Briganti, G., Pietro da Cortona, 1982, no. A6, p. 349, pl. 296; Rice, L., 'A newly discovered landscape by Pietro Cortona', Burlington Magazine, vol. 129, 1987, pp. 73-77.
Notes The painting was first attributed to Cortona by Carlo Volpe and confirmed by Briganti. The closest points of comparison are the Castelfusano frescoes and the Capitoline paintings. All these show a similar method of suggesting the recession of the landscape by a series of planes rather freely painted. Briganti has dated this work to the time that Cortona was working for Sacchetti, ie: 1625-30. However, Malcolm Waddingham has suggested a date of 1632 - 35. Jorg Merz does not accept this painting as an autograph Cortona.
Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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