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Maker(s):Grimaldi, Giovanni Francesco; called "Il Bolognese"
Culture:Italian (1606-1680)
Title:Landscape with Castle (recto), Landscape with Classical Architecture (verso)
Date Made:ca. 1666-1675
Materials:Pen and brown ink with wash (recto); black chalk (verso)
Place Made:Europe; Italy; Bologna
Measurements:sheet: 8 x 12 in; 20.2 x 30 cm; mat: 16 x 9 3/4 in.; 40.6 x 50.2 cm
Narrative Inscription:  none
Accession Number:  MH 2006.16.4
Credit Line:Purchase with the Warbeke Art Museum Fund
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Pen and brown ink landscape drawing with trees and hills in the foreground, lake in middle ground, and architecture and mountains in background.

Label Text:
Grimaldi was born and raised in Bologna at a time when the city had risen to preeminence as a center of artistic reform after decades of Mannerist artifice and derivation. Unlike the gritty and short-lived naturalism that Caravaggio introduced in Rome, Bologna’s Carracci family were the inventors of a refined classicism that eventually cast its spell over nearly all of Europe. After an apprenticeship with the Carracci, Grimaldi moved to Rome at the age of twenty and quickly made a name for himself as a painter of idealized landscapes.

Landscape with a Castle hangs next to a copy of a Landscape with Figures and Birds by Agostino Carracci that itself embodies many of the generic traits of the classical idiom. The even more pronounced compositional structure and antiquarian sensibility of Grimaldi’s later drawing represents the maturity of the style that seems to have originated with Agostino’s brother, Annibale. His lush landscape, probably made in preparation for an engraving or a fresco, would have been created in the same atmosphere that nourished the work of the contemporary French painters Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin (the artist to whom the copy of Agostino’s adjacent drawing has been attributed). The appreciation for such “ideal” or classical landscapes endured for centuries to come, culminating in the paysages historiques of the Neoclassical artist Pierre-Henri Valenciennes, two of whose own paintings of this theme hang in the red gallery adjacent to this room.

(J. V. 2007)

landscapes; architecture; mountains

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