Skip to main content
A Rocky Italian Landscape with Herdsmen and Muleteers
Jan Both
/

The tranquillity of the Campagna – the countryside around Rome – stretches far into the distance under a soft golden light. Muleteers, who lived by transporting goods on the backs of their patient mules, move at a leisurely pace across the mountainous landscape, its paths winding in and out of rocky outcrops down to the misty valley.

The sun catches the white sleeves, collar and stockings of two men – making them a focus of the picture – as they stop for a rest and a chat in the shade close to us. But all is not quite as perfect as first appears. The mule behind the herdsmen carries heavy rolls hanging from a cumbersome wooden saddle. His head droops and his legs are painfully thin. Although Both paints the countryside as a romantic idyll he makes sure that, for a discerning eye, the realities of life in the Italian hills are visible.

Key facts
Artist Jan Both
Artist dates about 1615 - 1652
Full title A Rocky Italian Landscape with Herdsmen and Muleteers
Date made about 1645
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 103 x 125 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG956
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo