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Francesco Simonini, A Campaign Scene

Key facts
Full title A Campaign Scene
Artist Francesco Simonini
Artist dates 1686 - 1766
Date made 1740-5
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 37.7 × 65.5 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by the Art Fund, 1944
Inventory number NG5465
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Campaign Scene
Francesco Simonini

An officer on a white horse is accompanied by three mounted soldiers to the left of this scene. A group of men sit nearby, awaiting orders; most carry muskets and swords. One of them holds a furled flag, suggesting that the battle has not yet begun. A reclining figure puffs on a long pipe and gazes towards the soldiers and wagons crossing the wide valley below.

Simonini spent most of his career in Venice. During the 1730s and early 1740s, he worked for Johann Matthias Graf von der Schulenburg, who was commander of the Venetian army in the war against the Turks. Simonini witnessed these military campaigns, often recording mundane scenes of military life, such as the resting soldiers depicted here.

Produced in 1740–5, this work shows the influence of Venetian painting in the vivid colours and the idyllic landscape, which combines the imaginary and the real.

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