Paintings | 17th Century | Paolo Monaldi | Bambocciata: Rural Scene Outside an Inn | Artwork profile

65 x 100 cm
Oil on canvas


Bambocciata: Rural Scene Outside an Inn

Paolo Monaldi

The subject
This work is a magnificent example of the 18th century Bambocciata, an artistic movement centred on depictions of poverty where the protagonists were people who occupied the lowest social classes of the time and were immortalized in their daily activities, for example resting at an inn at the end of a day’s work.

The painting

A student of Andrea Locatelli, Paolo Monaldi primarily focused his interest on topics affecting common men and women like the Bambocciate, thus differing from his master who instead dealt with this genre only in a superficial manner. Monaldi’s style was so influenced by Locatelli’s, at times it was difficult to distinguish between the work of the two painters, an issue usually resolved with a hurried (and often erroneous) attribution to Locatelli, in view of his greater fame. Even though several works were initialled by Monaldi with his monogram “PM”, in the past they were still thought to have been painted by Locatelli. Even the ‘Bambocciata’ analyzed here is initialled with a monogram that the painter inserted on the pitcher in the lower central area of the scene under the table occupied by the two Morra players.

A special mention should be made of the soft light of the background landscape, recalling the style of Claude Lorrain and adding a sense of placid tranquillity to the inn and its inhabitants in the foreground. The talk, game, wine, idleness and even the restfulness of the animals are depicted in such a natural manner as to draw the viewer into this relaxed environment, typical of an inn at the end of a work day.