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A family take a break while on a journey, resting beneath a tree as their cattle and goats wade into a shallow pool. The two young children watch the animals attentively, one raising a long stick in an attempt to herd them. Beyond, a winding dirt track leads us into the painting and towards a hilltop village. A handful of people climb this path – two figures in long robes, and a herdsman and his animals are higher up.
Zuccarelli mainly worked in Venice but visited England twice during the 1750s and 1760s, following in the footsteps of his near contemporary Canaletto. His idealised Italian landscapes were popular among English collectors, and he was a founding member of the Royal Academy in London. This work could have been painted during his stay in England or on his return to Italy.
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