|Title||Landscape with Woodcutters|
|Collection||Victoria and Albert Museum|
|Artist||Ricci, Marco (Italian painter and draftsman, 1676-1730)|
|Date Earliest||about 1700|
|Date Latest||about 1710|
This painting is a characteristic example of Marco Ricci's earlier output, probably dating from his first stay in England. It shows a mountainous landscape with a bending road on the left, counterbalanced by the river running on the opposite side. The small figures are carrying wood on a cart led by horses, and imposing houses appear on the right river bank.
Marco Ricci was born in Venice, where he studied with his uncle, Sebastiano Ricci. Around 1696, having killed a gondolier, he was forced to flee to Split, in Dalmatia. He remained there four years, concentrating on landscape painting, a training put to good use on his return in 1700 to Venice, where he painted theatrical sceneries. Little is known of Marco's artistic development, although he seems to have collaborated with Alessandro Magnasco (1667-1749) and Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (1675-1741), with whom he travelled to England and the Netherlands.
|Current Accession Number||1448-1882|
|Subject||landscape; buildings and gardens; figure|
|Measurements||115.5 x 175.3 cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on canvas|
|Acquisition Details||Given by Miss Margaret Coutts Trotter 1882.|
|Publications||Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800, London, 1973, p. 237; Scarpa Sonino, A., Marco Ricci, Milan, 1991, no. 45, p. 125 not illus.|
Formerly attributed to A. Both, this painting was re-attributed to Marco Ricci by Anthony Blunt and Malcolm Waddingham (oral opinions). The attribution to Ricci was confirmed by A. Scarpa Sonino, who dated it to the period of Marco's first visit to England, in 1708-10. The compositional scheme of this painting recurs frequently in Ricci's oeuvre, utilising rocks and edifices as repoussoir devices to enhance the work's sense of depth. The artist later intensified his palette with warm reddish hues.
Similar compositions, with small figures grouped in a corner of the picture, seemingly overwhelmed by grandiose vegetation, can be found in such pictures as Brigands' attack, in a private collection, Belluno. The large atmospheric skies, against which the trees are silhouetted, are recurrent in Ricci's work and reflect his Venetian heritage. A similar subject matter was treated by the artist in a different way in Landscape with Woodcutters, in Castle Howard.
|Rights Owner||© Victoria and Albert Museum, London|