(b. ca. 1620, Roma, d. ca. 1650, Roma)

Rural Scene

Oil on canvas, 130 x 97 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

A 1692 Chigi inventory lists two paintings, the Rural Scene and the Figures in a Tree-lined Avenue (see at Cerquozzi) and indicates that they are the product of a collaboration between Angeluccio, who painted the landscape, and Michelangelo Cerquozzi, who painted the figures.

These pictures and the documentary reference to them are an important basis for the reconstruction of the career of Giovanni Angelo, known by his nickname "Angeluccio".

The biographer Pascoli mentions Angeluccio as a student of Claude Gellée (also known as Claude Lorrain), saying that among Claude's disciples there was "of renown only Angeluccio, who died young and was only able to work a little". Perhaps of Flemish origin (he is cited as a Fleming in an eighteenth century inventory of the Valenti Gonzaga collection), he shows the influence of the Flemish landscape technique, with particular closeness to the work of Bril. His typical compositional characteristics are the rendering of a spatial depth, the showing of the horizon through an aperture in the dense foliage of the large trees, the domination of landscape over the relatively tiny figures, and the intense play of light and shadow.

Working in Rome probably between 1640 and 1650, Angeluccio was influenced by Swanevelt and Jan Both, and was an active member of the "Bamboccianti".

Though Miel and van Bloemen also painted figures for Angeluccio's landscapes, the majority of his collaborations were with Michelangelo Cerquozzi. Angeluccio seems to have furnished background landscapes for his fellow "Bamboccianti" much as Viviano Codazzi executed architectural backgrounds for them. A hypothesis has even been advanced that the nickname "Angeluccio" is derived from the closeness of this artist to "Michele Angelo" Cerquozzi. The fruits of this collaboration entered into numerous important Roman collections in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the inventories of which either report the pictures as "by Angeluccio with figures by Cerquozzi", or as landscapes by Angeluccio alone.