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In this brooding landscape, populated by gypsies and washerwomen, Magnasco contrasts industry and idleness, civilization and nature. His highly individual manner of painting-sketchily brushed, with flickering effects of light and shadow-lends a peculiar sense of anguish and impermanence to the scene.
This type of landscape, in which the human condition finds its reflection in nature, was popularized by Salvator Rosa during the 17th century. It was seen by contemporaries as the antithesis of the ideal landscape tradition articulated by Claude Lorrain.
Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.