Landscapes with Rustic Figures
( Roma, 1720-Rome, 1779 )
Pair of oils on canvas 54×37 cm, each
Monaldi’s skill in conveying scenes of country lifeis perfectly exemplified in this pair of landscapeswith peasants. The freshness of the execution and the customary figures are typical of the painter athis 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 thebagpipes, while another group appears to be at a gaming table; the center of the compositionjuxtaposes a gleaming flask of white wine and a view of a village and hills beyond. A pair of paintingsby 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.