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François-Xavier Fabre, Italian Landscape

Key facts
Full title Italian Landscape
Artist François-Xavier Fabre
Artist dates 1766 - 1837
Date made 1811
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 47.8 × 68.4 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Presented by Mrs Linda Murray in memory of her husband Peter Murray through the Art Fund, 1996
Inventory number NG6564
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Italian Landscape
François-Xavier Fabre

At the centre of the composition stands a building with four arches, the third of which leads to a furnace. In the foreground, a cart laden with fuel and drawn by two oxen is led by a man wearing a classical tunic. Smoke pours out of the vents in the tiled roof and the rolling storm clouds at the left give way to rosy sky at the right.

While this is an ideal landscape painted in the studio, the scenery is based on the heavily wooded hilly region around the thermal town of Bagni di Lucca, to the north-west of Florence, where Fabre spent much of his life from 1793. He made numerous sketching expeditions in this area. It has been suggested that the central building is a charcoal burner, but it is more likely to represent a lime kiln or a furnace for smelting iron ore.

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