Federico Barocci, Landscape with Banks and Trees, a drawing

Italy, around AD 1590

This landscape was drawn from life in black chalk with a grey and brown wash. White heightening was used to suggest the fall of light, most noticeably in the centre of the drawing. Green body colour provided the finishing touch, most visibly on the bank to the left. Strong strokes of the brush were used for the tree which grows out of the bank. A lighter, paler wash was then brushed on for the effect of the leaves on the tree. Those further away are a paler blur. The range of tones created is most characteristic of Barocci's fine naturalistic drawings.

The lower half of the drawing is perhaps the most effective. The different lights contrast with the darker upper part of bank and tree. Here, various shades of wash are used to suggest textures, shadows, tree roots and light moving across the surface. The variety of brush stroke and tone in this drawing reflect the painter's mastery of colour and light in his paintings.

At the lower left is a Latin inscription that states that Federico Barocci (1535-1612) made the drawing. It is thought that Barocci himself wrote the inscription. At the end of his life there were large numbers of landscape drawings in his studio. Few of these drawings can be related to his paintings, and it is likely that they were made for his own pleasure.

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More information


J.A Gere and P. Pouncey, Italian drawings in the Depa-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1983)


Height: 393.000 mm
Width: 249.000 mm

Museum number

PD Pp.3-202


Bequeathed by R. Payne Knight


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