Hilly Landscape with Three Figures

Aureliano Milani Italian

Not on view

Like his compatriot and exact contemporary Donato Creti the painter, draftsman, and engraver Aureliano Milani comes at the end of the Carracci tradition that held sway in Bologna for over a century. A distant relation of the Carracci, Milani in fact considered the revival of their style his personal artistic mission, to which end he assiduously studied their important Bolognese fresco cycles and made copies of their paintings. His veneration for his great Bolognese forebears, particularly Annibale Carracci, continued unabated after Milani's move to Rome in 1718. Muscular, energetic figures are signatures of his compositions, though Milani also exhibited a flair for genre scenes and a surprisingly lyrical approach to landscape. Milani's drawings were singled out for particular praise by contemporary biographers. Here, too, the example of the Carracci, whose drawing style he sought to revive, was paramount. In this masterful red-chalk study, Milani invokes not the classical landscapes of Annibale, but rather the Bolognese tradition of drawing from nature. The figures at the lower right are of secondary importance to the rustic expanse of trees and hills. The particular topography recorded here are the foothills of the Apennines outside Bologna.

(Linda Wolk-Simon, 2008)

Hilly Landscape with Three Figures, Aureliano Milani (Italian, Bologna 1675–1749 Bologna), Red chalk

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