Andrea Locatelli* (1693-1741)

Andrea Locatelli* (1693-1741)

A Nursing Mother, her Companions and their Livestock resting in a Courtyard; and A Musician playing to Travellers around a stone Table

oil on canvas
26 x 19 7/8in. (66 x 50.5cm.) A Pair (2)

Lot Essay

The present pair of paintings are typical of a small group of bambocciante genre scenes that Locatelli executed throughout his life, initially under the influence of artists such as Jan Miel, Michelangelo Cerquozzi and Pieter van Laer, and later very much in his own style. Andrea Busiri Vici in his monograph on the artist sees two distinctly different phases in Locatelli's bambocciante paintings: an earlier style and a later or 'second manner' which dates from the last five years of the artist's life. He sees these later works as shorn of the tradition of seventeenth century northern artists and uniquely Locatelli's own personal vision of eighteenth century Roman genre scenes (A. Busiri Vici, Andrea Locatelli, 1976, pp. 268-77).

The present paintings would appear to fit in to the second, more important phase, and date to circa 1740. Both in terms of spirit, size, and coloring they are remarkably close to a pair of genre scenes, one of which is signed and dated 1741, in the National Gallery, Prague (ibid., nos. 252-3, and pp. 158-9, color plates 193-4). Other comparable works from this, the artist's 'second manner', are two pairs in private collections, Rome (ibid., no. 251, illustrated).

Busiri Vici notes of no. 248 in his catalogue (in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), which he dates to circa 1740-1, 'The peasant figures are rendered with naturalness and simplicity in a clear, calm atmosphere that is already quite different from seventeenth-century prototypes...It was precisely from this sort of painting that Monaldi drew inspiration for his genre scenes', a description that could equally well apply to the present lot. While painted in his own style, these later paintings show not only Locatelli's debt to the bambocciante artists, but also to Bolognese painters such as Giuseppe Maria Crespi.