DUGHET, Gaspard
(b. 1615, Roma, d. 1675, Roma)

The Falls of Tivoli

c. 1661
Oil on canvas, 99 x 82 cm
Wallace Collection, London

All Dughet's documented pictures are decorative cycles fore Roman patrons. Neither Claude nor Poussin was able to supply this demand, probably because they were temperamentally unsuited to working on a large scale, although both had tried it. One unifying thread runs through the hundreds of easel paintings at present associated with Dughet: they are all more or less related to Poussin's own approach to landscape, although none of them is signed, dated or documented. If anything, Dughet is even more dramatic and gloomy than Poussin, a fact that led Ruskin in the nineteenth century to complain of Dughet's lack of respect for nature.

Not all of Dughet's work falls into the category of Poussin imitation, however. There is a category of much more naturalistic pictures, which often include views of Tivoli, as in the excellent example in the Wallace Collection, London, and also show a preoccupation with the picturesque. Some of Dughet's best pictures are of this subject, in which the waterfalls trickling over the rocks are painted with great naturalism.

This landscape combines Roman topography with the picturesque in a manner then particularly admired by English collectors.




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