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Antonio Travi, called Il Sestri

(Genoa, Sestri Ponente ,1608 - Genoa,1665)

Coastal Landscape with Fishermen

Oil on canvas  (20 ⁵/₈ x 33 ⁷/₈ inches)

+41 91 6828980


Antonio Travi is the first true painter of the Ligurian coastal landscape. He offers us an original blending of Genoese and Northern European traditions, and in particular a response to the art of Goffredo Wals (1595?-1638?), whose presence in Genoa is recorded from November 1623 onwards, and whose treatment of cool, precise light is shared by our artist. Travi’s small, animated scenes follow the narrative tradition of Filippo Napoletano (circa 1590-1629) or those of his contemporary Salvatore Rosa (1615-1673).

While still in his teens, around 1625, Travi spent time in the workshop of Bernardo Strozzi (1581/1582-1644), as one can see from his long, richly-loaded brushwork technique. Very soon thereafter, he created his own language, which included backgrounds with ruined buildings and narrative scenes with colourful small-scale figures. Genoa and the Ligurian coastline provided abundant material for maritime subjects, and the artist filled his foregrounds with fishing scenes, small boats and towing. The highly realistic description in this painting, with its shoreline covered in bright shingle and a crystalline light that precisely defines the reliefs and ruins in the background, lends the whole composition a modern tonality.

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London private collection

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- Piero Torriti, “La natura morta e il paesaggio”, in La Pittura a Genova e in Liguria dal Seicento al primo Novecento, Genoa, 1987, pp. 314-315, fig. 273;
- Pietro Pagano and Maria Clelia Galassi, eds., La pittura del ’600 a Genova, Milan, 1988, fig. 573;
- Gianluca Zanelli, Antonio Travi e la pittura di paesaggio a Genova nel ’600, Genoa, 2001, p. 122, illustrated.

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