ROSA, Salvator
(b. 1615, Arenella, d. 1673, Roma)

Portrait of the Artist's Wife Lucrezia

Oil on canvas, 66 x 50,5 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

The portrait shows the painter's wife Lucrezia, who also served as model for other Rosa paintings such as the 1642 Allegory of Poetry also in the possession of the National Gallery in Rome. Though Rosa met Lucrezia in Florence in 1640, the period to which this painting belongs, he did not actually married her until 1673, when he was on his deathbed. The painting remained in the possession of Rosa's heirs for centuries.

The painting is dated to after Lucrezia's return to Naples in 1657. Rosa depicts her with a deep degree of psychological penetration, dramatized by the highlighting of the face against the dark background.

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