Untitled Document
Villa d-Este, Trivoli - Jasper F. Cropsey
Jasper F. Cropsey
"Villa d-Este, Trivoli", 1877
Oil on canvas
10 1/8 x 8 inches
Signed and dated lower right
MME Fine Art Enlarge

Private Collection, Connecticut

The Villa d’Este, located on the hills above Tivoli, twenty miles east of Rome, was the commissioned palace of Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, who from 1550-1572 created the magnificent late-Renaissance structure and terraced garden which has been a source of artistic inspiration for centuries. Cropsey’s painting of the Villa affords the viewer a very intimate approach into the expanses of the Roman countryside: from the dense protection of the foreground’s foliage, past the Villa’s campanile and stepped gardens, into the vast valley and distant Tiburtini mountains. This technique of constructing the composition into three planes, each successfully lighter, as well as the inclusion of several human figures to aid with scale, helping the viewer place him or herself into the scene is an homage to the preeminent landscapist Claude Lorraine, whose works Cropsey studied early on in his painting career. The influence of Thomas Cole, whose Roman studio he worked in (after Cole’s death) until 1849, is apparent through the vibrancy and clarity that is typical of the Hudson River School style. By the time this was painted, Cropsey had already been recognized as one of the most important painters of the Hudson River School, and his impact on the history of landscape painting is reconfirmed with each new decade of scholarship.

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