Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Dulwich Picture Gallery Opens Salvator Rosa (1615 – 1673): Bandits, Wilderness and Magic

Dulwich Picture Gallery presents the first major UK Rosa exhibition since 1973. Open through 28 November 2010.

Salvator Rosa (1615 – 1673), Lucrezia as Poetry, c. 1641. Hartford (CT), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Oil on canvas. 45 3/4 x 37 1/4in The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund. 1956.159b © 2009. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art/ Art Resource, NY/Scala, Florence

Salvator Rosa (1615-1673) was one of the boldest and most powerfully inventive artists and personalities of the Italian 17th century. He invented new types of painting: allegorical pictures, distinguished by a haunting and melancholy poetry; fanciful portraits of romantic and enigmatic figures; macabre and horrific subjects; philosophical subjects, which bring into painting some of the major philosophical and scientific concerns of his age. His early works, particularly the landscapes, are bright and rich in picturesque motifs – crumbling towers, boats on the sea shore, colourful travellers crossing perilous bridges, bandits lying in wait in rocky ravines. But he moved towards a grander style, and his mature art is characterised by his dazzlingly free technique, and by his rich chiaroscuro and dark but strong colours which create a suggestive atmosphere. No other artist has created windswept landscapes of such expressive and emotional power, or figures of such dark and brooding intensity. Rosa invented an emphasis on freedom and sincerity. He aimed to intrigue powerful patrons by his mysterious and independent personality. Unlike Caravaggio, Rosa was truly a rebel, radical, anti-clerical, associated with libertine thought, and often in very real danger from the Inquisition.

Dulwich Picture Gallery is England’s first public art gallery: it was founded in 1811 when Sir Francis Bourgeois RA bequeathed his collection of old masters “for the inspection of the public”.

Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD, UK
Tel: 020 8693 5254 Fax: 020 8299 8700 Dulwich Picture Gallery Café: 020 8299 8717

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *