This landscape painting in an Italianate style is by an unidentified English artist whose work reflects the influence of Italian artists Salvator Rosa (1615-1673) and Marco Ricci (1676-1730), who is known to have visited England in the early 18th century.
The scene depicts a winding mountain path, on which a number of figures, dressed as peasants and accompanied by their dogs, are travelling. In the mid distance the terracotta roofs of a mountain village of stone buildings can be seen and beyond it are the rising peaks of two mountains.
The painting was purchased by the Government Art Collection at auction in 1985. It had previously been part of the collection of the Right Honourable Viscount Hereford and had been one of a series of paintings that hung in the King’s Bedroom at Hampton Court, Herefordshire. It is likely that these paintings formed part of the house’s interior decoration, commissioned by Thomas, Lord Coningsby, who played an active role in the remodelling of the house’s decoration in the early 18th century. The paintings were most probably produced between 1715 and 1720.
Collection in the King's Bedroom at Hampton Court, Herefordshire, probably commissioned by politician Thomas Coningsby, 1st Earl of Coningsby (1657-1729); by descent to his daughter, Lady Frances Coningsby (1707/8-1781); by descent to her grandson, George Capell-Coningsby, 5th Earl of Essex (1757-1839); collection of Viscount Hereford; by whom sold through Sotheby's, London, on 13 March 1985 (Lot 76), as by follower of Marco Ricci; from which sale purchased by the Government Picture Collection; destroyed or looted in Tripoli, Libya, on 30 April or 1 May 2011
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