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Friars Around a Hearth, c. 1725

Alessandro Magnasco
Italian, 1667-1749
Oil on canvas
36-3/4 x 52-1/4 in. (93.3 x 132.7 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

Not on View

Unlike his contemporaries, who preferred bright, glowing colors, Alessandro Magnasco favored the dramatic contrast of lights and darks. Magnasco's small figures are executed with swift brushstrokes and darting flashes of light. In this picture, the artist has painted a large group of monks or friars warming themselves around a fire. Magnasco's fragmented figures, made of quick strokes and a monochromatic palette, create an eerie scene that anticipates the work of Goya.

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