Bandits on a Rocky Coast

Artist: Salvator Rosa (Italian, Arenella (Naples) 1615–1673 Rome)

Date: 1655–60

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 29 1/2 x 39 3/8 in. (74.9 x 100 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Charles B. Curtis Fund, 1934

Accession Number: 34.137


Neapolitan by birth, Salvator Rosa spent most of his life between Florence and Rome. He developed a particular type of landscape that became especially popular in the following centuries. It is typical for Rosa to place groups of small figures, in the guise usually of bandits or soldiers, within the context of rugged and menacing landscapes. The ferocity of the protagonists of these pictures is highlighted by the character of the landscape around them. Paintings such as this were particularly loved and collected in eighteenth-century England.