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Cerquozzi Michelangelo called Michelangelo delle Battaglie

(Rome 1602 - 1660)

The painting depicts a “Bambocciata”, a common subject in the work of Michelangelo Cerquozzi who, together with Jan Miel and Michael Sweerts, was considered one of the greatest representatives of this style of painting, of Flemish origin. The term comes from the nickname given to Pieter van Laer, a Dutch artist – called ‘il Bamboccio’ for his boyish appearance. He specialised in small-format works, depicting scenes of daily life, filled with lightly-sketched narrative realism, called “bambocchiate”.

The work shows some customers with a dog sitting outside a tavern, in the pleasant setting of the Roman countryside. The characters are absorbed in their work: some are playing games, others smoking or watching and some, tired out, are already on their way home.


Object details

1640 circa
oil on panel
cm 48 x 65

Salvator Rosa, 60.5 x 77 x 5 cm



(?) Rome, collection of Cardinal Gregorio Salviati, 1782–1789 (Inv. Salviati, 1782–1789, nos 23-24; Della Pergola 1959); Inventario Fidecommissario, 1833, p. 28; purchased by the Italian State, 1902


Conservation and Diagnostic
  • 1906 Luigi Bartolucci (disinfestazione dei tarli);
  • 1953 Mauro Manca (leggera pulitura);
  • 1958 Alvaro Esposti, Gilda Diotallevi (rimozione vecchie stuccature, pulitura, riprese pittoriche, verniciatura);
  • 1977 Stefano Camillucci (restauro completo);
  • 2007-2008 Giantomassi & Zari (restauro completo, disinfestazione, stuccature delle lacune, reintegrazione, verniciatura).


According to Paola delle Pergola (1959), this painting and its pendant (inv. 259) came from the collection of Cardinal Gregorio Salviati, becoming part of the Borghese Collection at the end of the eighteenth century, in which it is documented for the first time in 1833, when it was listed in the fideicommissary inventory as a work by an unknown artist. Initially attributed to Philips Wouwerman (Barbier de Montault 1870), this Bambocciata was then attributed by Adolfo Venturi (1893) to Michelangelo Cerquozzi, a view partially accepted by Roberto Longhi, who in 1928 favoured the idea of ‘a Flemish artist in Rome’, active, according to the scholar, within the circle of Cerquozzi, but close in style to Jan Miel. Despite Longhi’s view and the poor condition of the painting, in 1959 Paola della Pergola unhesitatingly identified it as by the hand of Cerquozzi, an attribution that has remained unquestioned by subsequent scholars (see, for example, Herrmann Fiore 2006).

Antonio Iommelli

  • 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. 453; 
  • A. Venturi, Il Museo e la Galleria Borghese, Roma 1893, p. 136; 
  • R. Longhi, Precisioni nelle Gallerie Italiane, I, La R. Galleria Borghese, Roma 1928, p. 200; 
  • P. della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, II, Roma 1959, pp. 87-88, n. 122; 
  • C. Stefani, in P. Moreno, C. Stefani, Galleria Borghese, Milano 2000, p. 362; 
  • 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.