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A hunt

Circle of Tempesta Antonio

(Florence 1555 - Rome 1630)

This work recalls one with a similar subject painted by Antonio Tempesta, also housed in the Galleria Borghese (inv. 207). This Hunt has been part of the Borghese collection since at least the end of the 17th century and is traditionally considered to be a pendant of the other work. However, it has a coarser and clumsier style of painting, which precludes it from being attributed it to the Florentine artist. It can nevertheless be associated generically with his circle or sphere.


Object details

Inventory
248
Location
Date
Third/fourth decade of the 17th century
Classification
Period
Medium
oil on panel
Dimensions
cm 33,5 x 44,5
Frame

Salvator Rosa (43,5 x 56 x 4,8 cm.)

Provenance

Rome, Borghese Collection; Inv., 1693, Room.VI, no. 21; Inv., 1790, Room III, no. 48; Inventario Fidecommissario Borghese 1833, p. 26, no. 6. Purchased by the Italian State, 1902.

Conservation and Diagnostic
  • 1913 Luigi Bartolucci e Lorenzo Cecconi Principi
  • 1999 Laboratorio della Soprintendenza
  • 2003 Andrea Parri

Commentary

Against a background of a hilly landscape with a small turreted town, a hunt involving various animals is taking place. In the foreground on the right, three hounds are chasing a wolf, while a horseman, dressed in red, is about to stab it with the spear he holds in his right hand. On the left, two other hunters on horseback, accompanied by three bloodhounds, are in pursuit of a deer and about to attack it. In the middle-ground, in the centre, under some trees with luxuriant foliage, two wild boars are surrounded by a group of hunters on foot or horseback, almost all of them armed with spears or swords and accompanied by other hounds.

The painting is described in the Borghese inventory of 1693 as “Panel with hunt and Men on horseback and animals, no. 261. Gilded frame by Tempesta”. The inventory number 261 was still clearly visible in the lower right-hand corner a few decades ago, which leaves no doubt as to the identification of the work. The support also matches the inventory description. The attribution to Tempesta resurfaced in subsequent inventories, in Piancastelli's records (1891) and was also accepted by Roberto Longhi (1928). Although the artist worked for the Borghese family for a considerable period, in this case it is not possible to credit him with painting the panel for stylistic reasons, since it has a coarser painting style than that found in the known works of the Florentine. In this regard, Paola Della Pergola (1959) rightly pointed out that this Hunt, which would appear to be a pendant of the other (inv. 207), is rather to be attributed to the artist's workshop due to differences in technique and style. It can accordingly be dated to the third or fourth decade of the 17th century.

Pier Ludovico Puddu




Bibliography
  • X. Barbier de Montault, Les Musées et Galeries de Rome, Rome 1870, p. 357;
  • G. Piancastelli, Catalogo dei quadri della Galleria Borghese in Archivio Galleria Borghese, 1891, p. 262;
  • A. Venturi, Il Museo e la Galleria Borghese, Roma 1893, p. 135;
  • R. Longhi, Precisioni nelle Gallerie Italiane, I: La R. Galleria Borghese, Roma 1928, p. 200;
  • R. Buscaroli, La Pittura del Paesaggio in Italia, Bologna 1935, p. 325;
  • A. De Rinaldis, Documenti inediti per la Storia della R. Galleria Borghese in Roma. III: Un Catalogo della Quadreria Borghese nel Palazzo a Campo Marzio redatto nel 1760, in “Archivi”, III-IV, 1937, p. 223;
  • P. Della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, vol. II, Roma 1959, p. 54, n. 77;
  • P. Della Pergola, L’Inventario Borghese del 1693 (II), “Arte Antica e Moderna”, 1964, n. 28, p. 458;
  • R. Sansone, in L’anima e il volto: ritratto e fisiognomica da Leonardo a Bacon (catalogo della mostra, Milano, Palazzo Reale, 29 ottobre 1998-14 marzo 1999), a cura di F. Caroli, Milano 1998, p. 192;
  • K. Herrmann Fiore, Galleria Borghese Roma scopre un tesoro. Dalla pinacoteca ai depositi un museo che non ha più segreti, San Giuliano Milanese 2006, p. 84.