The Genius of Salvator Rosa, c. 1662


Etching and drypointexpand_more

Gift of Terrence D. Curleyexpand_more  P.98.31.9

Not on Viewexpand_more

This etching, Salvator Rosa's psychological self-portrait, bears an inscription: Sincere, free, fiery painter and equable, despiser of wealth and death, this is my genius. He shows the artist naked, without worldly need. A Stoic philosopher and Pittura, goddess of painting, offer their wisdom, but the wreath in his hair gives us a clue as to where his innate sympathies lie. While we might expect a talented artist to wear a crown of laurels, Rosa's is crowned with ivy, the symbol of Bacchus and also the adornment of the satyress, the embodiment of unbridled passions.

The Genius of Salvator Rosa
Artist Life
(Naples), 1615–1673
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
W.113 iii/iii; B.24
Curator Approved

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