Landscapes with Rustic Figures
( Rome, 1720 - Rome, 1779 )
Pair of oils on canvas 54x37 cm, each
L’Arte nella Pittura, exhibition in Monte-Carlo, Gallery Maison d’Art, 2001; From Light to Enlightenment, Exhibition in the Shanghai Art Museum, China, 12 -17 November 2005.
Francesca Baldassari, in L’Arte nella Pittura, exh. cat., Monte-Carlo, Maison d’Art, 2001, pp. 99-102, color ill. pp. 101-102, no. 22; To be included in the forthcoming monograph on the artist by Professor Giancarlo Sestieri; From Light to Enlightenment, Exhibition catalogue, Shanghai Art Museum, 2005, N 17, pp. 73-75, 142-143.
Monaldi’s skill in conveying scenes of country life is perfectly exemplified in this pair of landscapes with peasants. The freshness of the execution and the customary figures are typical of the painter at his best. The scenes are set outdoors: in one, a shepherd boy and girl refresh themselves by a stream, while a woman washes clothes nearby; they are approached by an old man and a dog. In the other, near a ruined arch, a group of figures gather around wine barrels, accompanied by a man playing the bagpipes, while another group appears to be at a gaming table; the center of the composition juxtaposes a gleaming flask of white wine and a view of a village and hills beyond. A pair of paintings by Monaldi in the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, Rome provides a good parallel to our pendants, with similar landscape settings and almost identical dimensions (1).
1 - Cfr. A. Busiri Vici, cit., 1976, pp. 266-267, nos. PM 7 and 8.