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Frederick de Moucheron, Figures in an Italian Garden

Key facts
Full title Figures in an Italian Garden with Fountains and Statuary
Artist Frederick de Moucheron
Artist dates 1633 - 1686
Date made probably 1665-70
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 73.7 × 93.2 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1871
Inventory number NG842
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Figures in an Italian Garden
Frederick de Moucheron

This idyllic Italian garden with its elegant figures, classical sculptures and tall, slender Mediterranean trees is a product of Frederick de Moucheron’s imagination. As far as we know he never visited Italy, but the picture is probably based on drawings and sketches by artists who had. De Moucheron gives the impression of a tamed area that has been hewn out of a much wilder landscape, with sculptures and a fountain enjoyed by aristocratic people at leisure.

Two young peasant women come running up from where the hillside drops away; one waves across at two aristocratic young men. One of the men points at the women while looking at his companion. A third man leans over the stone bath, displaying his splendid bright blue breeches and stockings. We don't know what story this tells – but part of the delight in owning the picture would have been in interpreting and reinterpreting what was going on.

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