Three horses and peasants in front of a farmhouse

Oil on canvas, cm 85 x 148

Provenance: Villa Alari Visconti di Saliceto, Cernusco sul Naviglio (Milan)

Bona Castellotti, C. Geddo, Francesco Londonio (1723-1783), Piva&C, Milan, 1998, n. 8
F. Pizzini, Un’eredità lombarda, da Milano alla Franciacorta, Milan, 2010, p. 153

Reference literature:
L. Böhm, Pittori milanesi del Settecento: Francesco Londonio, in “Rivista d’Arte” a. XVI, s. II, n. 3. 1934, pp. 229-261
Storia di Milano. L’età delle riforme (1706-1796), vol. XII, Milan, 1959, , tav. f.t. tra pp. 484 e 485
S. Coppa, in Settecento lombardo, catalogo della mostra a cura di R. Boscaglia, V. Terraroli, Milan 1991, pp. 206-211, 274-275

Entry by Dr. Cristina Geddo

This painting is in perfect conditiod and it is identifiable with n. 13 in the list of Londonio’s pictures in Villa Alari (Böhm, 1934, p. 252), where it is described as “A white horse and other brown ones, a peasant next to a house – canvas 1,30 x 0,60” (with uncorrect dimensions). […]

The far-reaching scene could be appropriately entitled “the get back home from work”. Some working tools hang on the farmhouse wooden fence, while three horses with still tenses nuscles were just loosed from the pack-saddle. Itts trace is still visible in the bloodstained venter of the white horse. The sunset lightens the white horse and the resting peasant on the lower right angle.

Ambrosian Library in Milan keeps a beautiful drawing showing Two farmhouses (black pencil and white leade on light yellow paper, Cod. F. 267 Inf. n. 78; mm 328 x 255), which was already known, but it can be put into relation with our canvas just now (Storia di Milano, vol. XII, 1959, tav. f.t. tra pp. 484 e 485; Coppa, in Settecento lombardo, 1991, pp. 274-276, n. I.292). In the upper part of the drawing we can see a farmhouse, heightened by white leade rich touches, which is preliminary study for our painting’s background, and it is certainly contemporary with the Ambrosian Library drawing n. 79, which is the preliminary study for the pendant painting from Alari collection.

Our canvas shows a marked interest in studying from life, most of all in the accurate description of country still life, partally left out in painting tradition. The peasant figure, lying in the sun, is on the contrary quickly depicted. In this feature, Londonio’s idealizing and amending purpose is clear. […]