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A Philosopher

Salvator Rosa (Arenella, Naples 1615 – Rome 1673)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1642 - 1645

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

1194 x 940 mm (47 x 37 in)

Place of origin

Italy

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Collection

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Library, Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, Midlands, National Trust

NT 108866

Caption

A learned wise-looking man, possibly ‘Diogenes’, grasping a book in both his hands, stands boldly against the varied tonalities of a lighter background looking out with a steady gaze. It is one of a small group of philosophers and saints by Rosa which derive from similar types by Ribera in whose studio he worked in Naples in the 1630s. This painting was probably painted whilst Rosa was in Florence, around 1642-45, and was paired with Andrea Sacchi’s The Allegory of Winter (NT 108869) when it was in the collection of the Marchese Niccolò Maria Pallavicini (1650-1714) and exhibited at the Academia del Disegno at the church of the Annunziata. They were both bought by Nathaniel Curzon’s agent the amateur dealer, William Kent for Kedleston Hall in 1758.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, A Philosopher by Salvator Rosa (Arenella, Naples 1615 – Rome 1673). A three-quarter-length portrait of a bearded philosopher holding papers.

Provenance

Possibly the painting mentioned in the posthumous inventory of the goods of the Marchese Niccolò Maria Pallavicini (1650-1714), Palazzo all’Orso, Rome, 29th March – 5th July, 1714, in the Third Anticamera, no.414; bought by the marchand-amateur William Kent (fl. 1742-1761) from Marchese Arnaldi for Sir Nathaniel Curzon in 1758; recorded in Library by the Duchess of Northumberland in 1766 (although she erroneously called it Andrea del Sarto [!]);bought with part of the contents of Kedleston with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) in 1987 when the house and park were given to the National Trust by Francis Curzon, 3rd Viscount Scarsdale (1924-2000)

Credit line

Kedleston Hall, The Scarsdale Collection (acquired with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and transferred to The National Trust in 1987)

Marks and inscriptions

Verso: Label: R.A. Winter 1950/1 exh. (Ser. No. 140)

Makers and roles

Salvator Rosa (Arenella, Naples 1615 – Rome 1673), artist

References

Salerno 1963 L. Salerno, Salvator Rosa, 1963, p. 115, fig.5 Salerno 1975 L. Salerno, L’Opera Completa di Salvator Rosa, 1975, p.86, no.29 Rudolph 1995 Stella Rudolph, Niccolò Maria Pallavicini: L'ascesa al Tempio della Virtù attraverso il Mecenatismo, Rome, 1995, pp.20,162, 172, 193 n.49, 230 n.414, 231 no.34, 234 no.39, 239 no.23, & fig.4 Salvator Rosa, Bandits, Wilderness and Magic, exh. cat. (eds. Helen Langdon with Xavier F. Salomon), Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 15 September - 28 November 2010 and Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, 12 December 2010 - 27 March 2011 National Trust (Great Britain), Kedleston Hall., 1993, no. 176 Salvator Rosa tra mito e magia, exh. cat. (ed. N. Spinosa et al), Naples, 2008, p. 17 Farina 2010 V. Farina, Il giovane Salvator Rosa 1635 - 1640, Naples 2010, p. 59

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