Classical Landscape with a Sphinx

Classical Landscape with a Sphinx


The painting, which is closely related to Classical Landscape with an Urn (Manchester Art Galleries inv. no. 1988.138), depicts an imaginary scene in the vicinity of Rome. A young man on the far left, perhaps a Grand Tourist, appears to be taking in the view. The foreground is occupied by other figures in colourful local costume. Flaws in the perspective, such as the relative sizes of the ‘Grand Tourist' and the central, pointing figure, suggest that this may be the work of an amateur. The buildings and the architectural motifs, such as the sphinx, the pool and arched bridge, are reminiscent of the Roman scenes of Jan Frans van Bloemen (1662-1749), known as Orizzonte, but the figures do not correspond to his style, and the whole has a later and considerably less refined appearance. The paintings could equally have been inspired by the classicising landscapes of Gaspard Dughet (1615-1675) and Andrea Locatelli (1695-1741). The statue in the foreground depicts a sphinx surmounted by a putto (or Cupid), a familiar motif in European Baroque and Rococo sculpture.

Object Name

Classical Landscape with a Sphinx


framed: 67.6cm x 84.2cm

accession number


Place of creation







© Manchester Art Gallery

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