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Military Camp Scene and Battle. Pietro Graziani (XVII/XVIII century), entourage.

Military Camp Scene and Battle. Pietro Graziani (XVII/XVIII century), entourage.

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Military Camp Scene and Battle.

Pietro Graziani (XVII/XVIII century), entourage.

A pair ( two) of small paintings.
Antique XIX century frames in gilt wood. 

In good condition.

Oil on canvas.

Canvas relined 

Dimensions with frame each H 34cm x L 26cm

Dimensions without frame each H 26cm x L 17 cm

Both paintings have the same size, and are painted by the same artist.

In one of the paintings we see a messenger pointing to a horseman with his hand at some movements he has just seen, or bringing news of losses. The scene conveys a sense of the speed of what is happening; in the distance, we can see clouds of smoke, the outlines of banners against the background of blue distances, a city in the distance, a hilly landscape. The horseman is dressed in armor, his helmet has feathers, as does the horse's uniform. In the background, we can see a recently overturned cart, traces of violent and brutal battles.

In the second work, the scene unfolds in a military camp, with tents, where an escape and pursuit of a man in a turban and colorful clothes of the Eastern style takes place, possibly a Turk trying to steal the banners. Behind him, a warrior on a horse has already raised his sword to stop the fugitive.
In both compositions there is a sense of speed, time, speed are felt very sharply. The intensity and lightning speed of what is happening are masterfully embodied in the painting technique: before us is almost a sketch in technique, each of the brush strokes is a bundle of emotion and movement. These painting techniques are very bold and foreshadow the painting of a later period. But they certainly draw on the traditions of Neapolitan painting, especially Salvator Rosa, an extraordinary artist, as well as a poet and philosopher.



There were 2 painters active in Naples and Rome between the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Under the appellation of "Ciccio Graziani", or more simply "Ciccio Napoletano", some small-format battles have been listed, since the eighteenth century in the inventories of famous private collections, then partly became public, some battles of small format, characterized by an unmistakable stylistic and executive imprint. There are examples preserved in the Florentine museums, the couple of the Galleria Pallavicini in Rome, many others in the well-known museums, Italian, from the Capitolina and the Corsini of Rome, the Bardini in Florence, the Civico di Deruta, to the art galleries of Naples and Prato, as well as many foreigners (Geneva, Grenoble, Nantes, Schleissheim, etc.), up to the Waltes Art Gallery in Baltimore.

Graziani, cited in ancient sources with their specific qualification as "Battaglista", are clearly two: one of these sources briefly by Pietro, saying he does not know if he was a spouse or son of Ciccio Graziano who left works in churches in Rome. This in fact is also remembered by E: Titi, as famous for battles.

While therefore having to recognize with confidence the activity of two battaglists Graziani, only homonymous or more likely close relatives, both Neapolitans, if not born at least from school, remains the incontrovertible finding that most of the paintings, today gathered under the name of Ciccio Graziani (or, Neapolitan), denounce a late-sixteenth-century matrix, already inclined to eighteenth-century solutions, making use of Neapolitan inventiveness, from the Falcone to Rosa, decidedly reinforced by the direct knowledge of the Borgognone.

Presentations on clear landscaped backgrounds with eventful and crowded scenes of chivalry, whose characters, outlined with a quick and nervous, almost artificial stroke, anticipate the painting of the eighteenth century,

Both in the smaller format with early anticipation of the rococo taste and in the rapid executive way, which draws inspiration from Neapolitan inventiveness, from the Falcone to Salvator Rosa, reinforced by direct knowledge of the battles of the Borgonone.

Even today, it is often problematic to attempt a distinction between a senior Graziani (Francesco) and a junior (Pietro) on the basis of style and above all more elaborate settings and executions, compared to the others more rapid and concise. As mentioned, the appellation of "Ciccio Napoletano" was probably used since the eighteenth century, by the will of Pietro himself, or for an exquisite practice in the same specific collecting (it usually appears in the Corsini inventories).





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