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Giovanni Battista Viola, Landscape with a Hunting Party

Key facts
Full title Landscape with a Hunting Party
Artist Giovanni Battista Viola
Artist dates 1576 - 1622
Date made early 17th century
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 96.6 × 135.3 cm
Acquisition credit Holwell Carr Bequest, 1831
Inventory number NG63
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Landscape with a Hunting Party
Giovanni Battista Viola

This painting is typical of Giovanni Battista Viola, who specialised in landscapes with hunting and fishing scenes. Here, in a woodland clearing, a hunter dressed in yellow lets his dogs drink from a stream, while another sounds a horn to gather the hunting party. Smartly dressed figures on horseback ride toward him.

Although the figures and action are concentrated in the foreground, subtle areas of light and shadow, along with details like the herds of animals and the building with a smoking chimney, guide our eye towards the distant mountains.

With its companion piece, Landscape with a River and Boats, the painting entered the National Gallery’s collection as by Annibale Carracci, whose studio Viola may have joined in Rome during the early 1600s. Viola is known to have worked with Domenichino and Francesco Albani on the decorative paintings in the Palazzo Giustiniani during this period, and these pictures perhaps hung above the doors in one of its rooms.

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