BELLOTTO, Bernardo
(b. 1720, Venezia, d. 1780, Warszawa)

View of the Villa Cagnola at Gazzada near Varese

Oil on canvas, 100 x 65 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

This view and another (View of Gazzada near Varese) in the same museum have recently been restored and we can once again see the crystal transparency of the light. The splendid early masterpieces were painted while the young artist was traveling in Lombardy. They manage to combine poetry with faithful realism in the way they capture the feel of the climate and season. He succeeded in catching the movement of the early fall wind which was pushing the clouds along and drying the washing on the line. He painstakingly and lovingly portrayed the simple colours of the stones, the roof tiles, the clothes people wore, and the way the leaves are just beginning to turn colour. All this makes these paintings perhaps the most heartfelt portraits ever painted of the region.