Views and Landscapes at the Stuard Art Gallery

How the landscape has influenced artists in both naturalist and religious landscape works

By Pinacoteca Stuard

View of the Cathedral and the bell tower of St. John the Evangelist (19th century) by Luigi MarchesiPinacoteca Stuard

The theme

The Stuard Art Gallery houses an important collection of landscape paintings and urban views. The artists who trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Parma were involved in these genres of ancient origin, who from 1822 had a endowed chair in landscape at the behest of Maria Luigia of Habsburg, a nature lover and amateur painter. 

At the bridge Dattaro near Parma (1893 ca.) by Guido CarmignaniPinacoteca Stuard

On the Dattaro bridge in Parma

In
this painting Guido
Carmignani depicts the entrance to the ancient south bridge of the
city, now incorporated into the urban fabric: before leaving for the
countryside, the wagons of the birocciai stop in front of Villa
Ombrosa, then replaced by a bank in the twentieth century. The low
viewpoint and the design of the architecture elements, characters
and vehicles are based on a photograph taken by the painter himself.

The reference to photography can be seen here from the pronounced perspective starting from a view from below.

The color, the figures and the shadows do not seem to be generated by drawing lines, as much as the small brushstrokes close to each other.

Horsemen patrol (1854) by Alberto PasiniPinacoteca Stuard

A group of knights

Alberto Pasini, destined to become a great orientalist, in "Pattuglia di cavalieri" lets himself be enchanted by the atmosphere of Île-de-France, a region explored during a Parisian stay, inserting it as the backdrop of the rapid passage of a group of lancers, and calibrating the chromatic stamp on the Franco-Dutch traditional paintings admired in the Louvre.

Nature and the sky, created with touches of color that fade, well remember the climate and atmosphere of northern France.

The knights, sketched, despite being protagonists in the title of the work and being present in the painting, seem to be secondary to the predominance of nature and the sky full of large clouds

Local fair in Parma (1869) by Enrico SartoriPinacoteca Stuard

Parma Fair 

In "Fiera
in Parma" Enrico Sartori – a good reporter of his land - represents a moment
of daily life of the local community which involves different social
strata.

In the background we see the laborers, with ploughs and sticks.

In the foreground there are portraits of those who could be bourgeois or entrepreneurs

Women are not excluded, here visible one with a blue cloth on her head.

View of the Cathedral and the bell tower of St. John the Evangelist (19th century) by Luigi MarchesiPinacoteca Stuard

View of the Cathedral and St John Evangelist's Campanile

Luigi
Marchesi in his "Veduta
del Duomo e del campanile di San Giovanni Evangelista" prefers to focus on a picturesque downtown street,
dominated by the beautiful church architecture, taking advantage of a
moment of calm to get an original glimpse. 

The architecture portrayed with great skill, together with the shaded area, gives a sense of peace and quiet to the whole composition.

The careful attention to detail and the faithful reproduction of the original is well seen both in the bell tower and in the dome of the Cathedral.

Prince Amedeo wounded on Mount Croce, 24 june 1866 by Enrico RaimondiPinacoteca Stuard

Prince Amedeo injured at Monte Croce, 24 June 1866 

Considered
the most important genre of all time, starting from the modern era,
history painting also allowed artists to engage in landscape or urban
settings.
Painters
who participated in the Wars of Independence often
painted Risorgimento themes,
as Edoardo Raimondi did, who in "Il
principe Amedeo ferito a Monte Croce, 24 giugno 1866", an episode of the Third War of Independence, offers
a wide horizon that gives th heroic perception of those troubled
times,
with the dead in the foreground and the houses that can be seen
beyond the thick curtain of soldiers. 

In the background you can see the town where the battle rages, raised by a layer of smoke, while some wounded soldiers leave the field.

The main scene takes place in the central and clearly visible part, namely the wounded Prince Amedeo. All with purely pictorial colors and sketched on the background, created by small touches.

Battle of knights at a city (17th century - early 18th century) by Francesco Monti alias Brescianino delle battagliePinacoteca Stuard

A battle in the city

The
landscape, crossed by the agitated movement of knights and immersed
in the fumes of gunpowder, is represented by Francesco Monti, called
the Brescianino delle battaglie, in the paintings kept in the
Pinacoteca. His “Battaglia
di cavalieri presso una città” is
significant in a way that favors the densification of figures on one
side of the canvas: the battlefield is crowded with soldiers,
described with a quick touch as they fight not far from the walls of
a city.

The left part of the composition is completely condensed by a group of animated soldiers during the fight.

In the background instead you can see the city, surrounded by the pink smoke of the battle over a sky full of salmon-colored clouds.

The River Brenta in Dolo (from Antonio Canal alias Canaletto) (Second half of the 18th century) by Venetian artistPinacoteca Stuard

The river Brenta at Dolo

The genre of the urban view was imposed in the eighteenth century also thanks to the use of the optical camera and the contribution of artists of the caliber of Giovanni Antonio Canal known as Canaletto, to whom “Il fiume Brenta a Dolo” refers: for this representation the anonymous author made use of an engraving which was in turn dependent on a painting by the famous landscape painter. The tree in the center divides the large pictorial layout, the houses of the town are mirrored on the water, arranged as a frieze under a blue sky furrowed by clouds, while some figurines animate the scene, adding a narrative touch to the composition.

The artifice of the optical chamber, seen in Canaletto's city views, is also used here in this composition depicting the peaceful town of Dolo.

The long brushstrokes of the sky join those waters of the river, together with the figures who stop on its banks.

Christ entering Jerusalem (First half of the 15th century) by Pietro di Giovanni di AmbrogioPinacoteca Stuard

The entrance of Christ in Jerusalem

In the small panel by Pietro di Giovanni d’Ambrogio with “L’entrata di Cristo in Gerusalemme”, there is a panoramic view of the city, complete with city gate, hig walls and soaring If in the form of some buildings the author was inspired by the main places of worship of the Holy City, in the style is clear reference to Italian architecture of the fifteenth century. The lack of knowledge of Brunelleschi's perspective rules led him to stack the buildings on top of each other, in a synthetic vision of the urban agglomeration.

The lack of perspective rules means that the architecture of the city is crowded, with different colors that can be more stimulating for the eyes.

The round arch is enclosed by another arch, probably an ogive arch. In doing so, the artist combines Romanesque and Gothic architecture in a single composition.

Christ carrying the cross (15th century) by Giovanni di Francesco (attr.)Pinacoteca Stuard

Christ bearing the cross

In
the tablet “Cristo
portacroce”
attributed to Paolo Uccello, the setting shun any urbanistic hint:
Jesus moves alone, with difficulty, in a sparse lansdscape dominated
by impending rocks, cut like a quartz, which exressively return all
the suffering and loneliness of the condemned person.  

The intention to use three-dimensions is underlined here by the halo of Christ, not circular but elliptical.

Christ intercedes for the Apostles in danger (17th century) by Pietro Mulier il Giovane alias Cavalier TempestaPinacoteca Stuard

Christ intercedes for the apostoles

Still
a landscape suggests the state of mind of Jesus, in the painting
“Cristo
intercede per gli apostoli in pericolo”
by Pieter Mulier known as the Cavalier Tempesta. Unusually narrow and
elongated, the canvas is occupied on the right side by a steep bank,
with large stones and sparse bushes, on which the protagonist stands,
with his gaze towards a corner in the sky lit by a heavenly light. On
the opposite side the sea is stormy: high waves roar threateningly
and prevent the disciples boat from slipping ashore and attacking.
With their dark tones, illuminated by the copious foam, the breakers
recall the color of the clouds, which open to reveal the sun. 

The dark colors, the stormy sea and perhaps the boat next to a shipwreck emphasize and give a sense of alienation and general concern.

Credits: Story

Special thanks to Alessandro Malinverni, author of the text.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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