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ITALIAN SCHOOL. 6666 G. BASSANO.
Though this piece represents a scene of Italy, the classic land of the fine arts, it is far from equalling in nobleness Leopold Robert's picture of the Reapers, so justly admired in the late exhibition.
Giacomo da Ponte, commonly called Bassano, from his being a native of that city, delighted in depicting rural scenes; and the figures introduced into his pieces are ordinarly his wife, children and domestics. The animals of his yard also served him as models; and we are tempted to consider the monkey, on the right, as one of his inmates.
This composition is perhaps wanting in dignity; but, according to a practice now in vogue, its author aimed only at copying nature, without seeking to ennoble it.
An eccentricity frequent in in Bassano's works, is observable in this picture, viz, the care with which he studied to conceal the feet of his figures. In the principal group, on the left, composed of four figures, not a single leg is seen: on the right, a chair conceals those of the man standing near the house-door; and in the rear, a sheaf of corn, one of those of the female, who is helping to load the wain.
This picture, which was formerly in the Archduke Leopold of Austria's gallery at Brussels, is now in that of the Belvedere at Vienna. It has been engraved by J. Troyen.
Width, 12 feet 9 inches; height, 8 feet 6 inches.