Rosa, Salvatore (1615-1673)

"Rosa, Salvatore (1615-1673)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

Salvatore Rosa, Italian painter and poet, was born in Naples in 1615 and died in Rome in 1673. He began in the studio of Jusepe de Ribera and was a folower of the school of Aniello Falcone, starting from the pictures of battles and landscape: Pescatori di corallo (Columbia, Missouri, Mus. of Art). In 1635 Rosa moved to Rome serving to cardinal F.M.Brancaccio. Here the artist participated in the cultural life, and became very popular as an actor and organizer of the carnival performances. At the same time he was in contact with painters P.Testa, C.Lorrain and H.Van Swanevelt, maturing as the painter: Agar e l'Angelo (circa 1639) (New York, Chrysler Coll.).
rosa marina
In 1639-1648 Salvatore stayed in Florence, where was accepted with big honors at the Medici's court: Porto e marina con torri (Modena, Gall.Estense); romantic Marina del porto (see on the photo) (Florence, Palazzo Pitti); themes of magic and witches in Scena di stregoneria (Florence, Gall.Corsini); La strega (Roma, Pin.Capitolina) and Le tentazioni di Sant'Antonio (Florence, Palazzo Pitti).

8 year later Rosa returned to Rome and concentrated himself on the "moral painting", developing the nostalgic vision of ancient culture: Democrito in meditazione and Diogene che getta via la scodella (Copenaghen, Nationalmus.); Paesaggio con la predica di Sant'Antonio (New York, Metropolitan Mus.); Soldati al gioco (London, Dulwich College Picture Gall.); Cadmo che semina i denti del drago (Copenaghen, Nationalmus.); Battesimo dell'eunuco della regina (New York, Chrysler Coll.); Crocefissione di Policrate (Chicago, Art Inst.); Martirio di Attilio Regolo (Richmond, Virginia, Mus.of Fine Arts). But in the last works the symbolic elements do not appear any more: Il sogno di Enea (New York, Metropolitan Mus.); Giasone e il drago (Montreal, Mus.of Fine Arts). In Italy S.Rosa was considered as a forerunner of the romantic sensibility of the 19th century art; he greatly influenced the Neapolitan artistic style as well, even if he didn't have the direct pupils.

Rosa occupies a considerable place in the literature as well, with his seven Satire written in the period of 30 years and published in 1695. Among them should be noticed La Musica (1640) - condemnation of contamination of sacred and popular music; La Poesia (circa 1641) - against the academies and sea-poets; La pittura (circa 1641) - discussion with the painters of different styles; La Guerra (1647).

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