TASSI, Agostino
(b. 1578, Roma, d. 1644, Roma)

Imaginary Landscape with Temple of Sibyl at Tivoli

c. 1625
Palazzo Lancellotti, Rome

Until the mid-1610s Tassi's lights are cool, sharp and steely. But then perhaps a renewed interest in Elsheimer, or contact with Filippo Napoletano taught him the poetics of both nocturnal and diurnal light. Light for Tassi becomes a mood and it is Claude who eventually develops this. While Tassi carefully observed and selected the natural phenomena around him, he did not abstract them. His skies, with their diagonal streaks of pink, can often be seen in Roman sunsets. His imposing beeches and elegant umbrella pines are truly those of the Roman countryside. He delighted in showing the unexpected: the Temple of Sibyl at Tivoli, carefully restored, is juxtaposed with the Villa Medici on a coastline.

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