Artibus et Historiae no. 23 (XII)

1991, ISSN 0391-9064

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LUIGI SALERNO - Two Unusual Moments by Salvator Rosa

Two paintings by Salvator Rosa are presented here in which the artist succeeded in impressing the viewer through the use of an unusual composition. In the first picture, Rosa's modest aim was to represent cliffs so well that, as he wrote in one of his satires, when his enemies saw it exhibited in the Pantheon they would be consumed by envy.

The second is a Raising of Lazarus which Rosa copied from Jan Lievens, a follower of Rembrandt. The dramatic composition would have struck the Italian public as new and original.

In both cases, Rosa demonstrates his sensitivity to the deep mystery of the cliffs, which rise up unexpectedly in their hulking mass, as well as to that which is hidden in the earth itself - a strikingly pre-Romantic vision.

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