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Salvator Rosa


An elegant figure by the notoriously irascible Neapolitan

Artist: Salvator Rosa (1615-1673)
Title: Figurine from the Figurine suite
Date: circa 1653-58
School: Italian, Italian XVIIth-century (later impression?)
Medium: etching
Dimensions: 144 x 94mm (plate), 257 x 188mm (support)
Watermark: partial fleur-de-lys in a single circle, Italian

Inscriptions/marks: signed with the artist’s etched monogram in the image bottom right <<SR>>; Wallace catalogue number in pencil on the support top right <<W36>>; <<43>> in pencil on the support bottom right
Condition: good condition, printed on laid paper with generous margins from the Figurine suite of about 60 images dedicated to Carlo de’ Rossi.
Description: a warrior in three-quarter profile, standing in front of a large rock, holding a staff, and looking into the background
Reference: Richard W. Wallace, The Etchings of Salvator Rosa, Princeton University Press, 1979, cat. no. 36 and see the entry on the British Musuem’s impression. See also the articles by Antony Griffiths and Craig Hartley on the ordering of Rosa’s etchings collected and mounted into albums in Print Quarterly,  vol. 9, no. 3, 1992, pp. 251-67. The Figurine suite, as it is now known, did not have a published title. Rosa was the suite’s original publisher and retained ownership of the plates. The frontispiece to the suite has a dedication to Carlo de’ Rossi who owned Rosa’s painting Allegory of Fortune in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The painting is a satire on Pope Alexander VII’s nepotism and nearly landed the painter in prison. The dedication reads <<Has Ludentis otii/Carolo Rubeo/Singularis Amicitia pignus>> which translates roughly as “These playful leisures, a pledge of singular friendship to Carlo de’ Rossi”
Provenance: Dunbar Sloane, Wellington, 2023

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