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    Sale 7714

    Old Master & British Pictures

    24 April 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 74

    Salvator Rosa (Arenella 1615-1673 Rome)

    A cavalry skirmish

    Price Realised  


    Salvator Rosa (Arenella 1615-1673 Rome)
    A cavalry skirmish
    signed with monogram 'SR' (lower left, on horse)
    oil on canvas
    52¾ x 83 in. (134 x 211 cm.)
    in an early 19th century giltwood and gilt composition frame

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    Following his major commission for a battle scene from Monsignor Neri, the new papal ambassador to Louis XIV in 1652, for which he charged the staggering sum of 600 scudi, Rosa was only willing to paint battle scenes for the most important patrons. At this point in his career Rosa was striving hard to be accepted as a history painter, distancing himself somewhat from the lower echelons in the hierarchy of genres (he was also an extremely accomplished landscape painter).
    Despite the artist's avowed antipathy for battle scenes, it was a genre in which he clearly excelled. The chaos of cavalry skirmishes, normally, as here, between Christians and Turks, provided an opportunity to depict writhing horses, dead bodies and intense combat, often set against extensive landscapes all in the same dramatic composition.

    We are grateful to Professor Nicola Spinosa for confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs (written communication, 19 March 2008).

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    with J. & W. Vokins, London.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that this painting has been published as fully autograph recently by Marco Chiarini in the exhibition catalogue Salvator Rosa tra mito e magia, ed. Nicola Spinosa, Naples, Museo di Capodimonte, 2008, p. 27, fig. 8.
    Please also note that Jonathan Scott has questioned the attribution.

    Pre-Lot Text



    (Possibly) 1851 Inventory, Large Drawing Room, '14 Paintings - £75.0.0'