17th Century
The Two Hares

Oil on canvas
Image size: 19 1/2 x 56 inches (49.5 x 142 cm)
Early gilt frame



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This beautiful 17th-century landscape painting depicts a sweeping view across the luscious Italian countryside with the deeps blues of the ocean appearing behind. Two refined figures and two hares populate the classical landscape. The light here is exquisite and typically Mediterranean and the azurite blues of the sky and water are reminiscent of Titian’s handing of the colour in works such as ‘Bacchus and Ariadne’.

Indeed, while the scenery is clearly based on a heavily wooded hilly region of Italy it also draws on the notion of an Arcadian landscape. The result is an artwork that brings together notions of the ideal with a view that celebrates the artist’s love for this rural countryside.

In the foreground two boys are sitting together on the ground, taking rest. One wears armour across his chest and torso while the other holds a violin in his hands. Deep in conversation on this warm day they seem to miss the two hares that are running into the trees, just ahead of them.