Landscape Painting in Europe: Salvator Rosa and the Sublime


Titian was eclipsed by two other painters. The first was Salvator Rosa. He specialized in jagged rock formations and stormy skies. Rosa painted the sublime: the terrifying aspects of nature that nonetheless provided aesthetic experiences.

The sublime was first experienced by travelers in mountains. Previously mountains had been regarded as symbols of the wrath of God, and people had traveled through them in a subdued, respectful manner. Suddenly, however, they produced feelings of terror and excitement as powerful natural objects.

Salvator Rosa, The Crucifiction of Polycrates, c. 1663-64, The Art Institute of Chicago