Paintings | 17th Century | Maria Luigia Raggi | View of the Roman Countryside with figures and buildings (I) | Artwork profile

22,5 x 18 cm
Oil on canvas


View of the Roman Countryside with figures and buildings (I)

Maria Luigia Raggi

The subject
The sunny Roman countryside where the landscape blends with the remains of a grandiose past and the simple activities of peasants working the land, fishing along the banks of the Tiber or resting in an inn or in the shade of a tree, are the fundamental themes of an 18th century genre which achieved great success and development particularly in the papal city: the “vedutist” school. The scenes represented in these two small paintings embody all the magic of that movement. One of the two paintings seems to represent the small city of Tivoli, recognizable by the Temple of Vesta (or Tibur’s, from the name of the city founder) on the top of the hill represented on the left and from the Aniene river on the valley below. The perfect blend of signs from a great past and a wild, suggestive natural environment, made Tivoli one of the most painted spots of the roman countryside.

The painting
This pair of paintings were initially attributed to the great landscape’s painter Paolo Anesi, but after a deeper research they became an important new add to the catalogue of Maria Luigia Raggi. The undoubted proximity to Anesi’ style which characterizes these works of art, is justified by the fact that Maria Luigia Raggi artistically grew in the roman workshop of the famous painter, and she was consequently influenced by him, however she managed to develop a proper own artistic personality and language which was characterized by a fresh touch, an intense luminosity and by “a clear and joyful colouring” following the definition given by Andrea Busiri Vici in a 1980 study dedicated to an anonymous 18th century landscaping painter who worked in the roman environment; during the following years this painter was revealed in Maria Luigia Raggi. The recent studies made by Consuelo Lollobrigida about Maria Luigia Raggi helped to put this artist under a clear light: born in Genoa, Raggi was a self-taught artist and later she completed her training during a trip in Rome where she had the chance of observe the workshop of Paolo Anesi. This is the reason of the clear analogies between her works and the paintings of the great roman master, like the peculiar layout of the figures and building in her composition, as well as the venetian rarefied atmosphere. The attendance of that important workshop provided to Raggi not only a great artistic education and a good taste for real or idealized landscapes, but also a direct link to the rich roman clients and foreigner collectors who were visiting the Eternal City during the Gran Tour. Maria Luigia managed to conquer these collectors thanks to an assorted iconographical repertory which included not only Capriccios, but also Lorrain-style arcadia landscapes, real views of Rome, featuring its famous monuments and documentary roman countryside’s landscapes. The pair of canvases analyzed in these pages are an example of her art: a glance to an idealistic rural land and a small landscape with an ideal view of the city of Tivoli.