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A brief encounter between: 'Landscape with Hermit' and 'Summer'

Salvator Rosa and Edward Hornel

Man with caves and trees

Salvator Rosa 1615-1673, 'Landscape with Hermit' about 1662

Girls in a wood

Edward Hornel 1864-1933, 'Summer' 1891

Both these paintings depict states of ecstasy, religious or emotional. For Hornel it is associated with joyous experiences. The girls in his painting embody the season of summer as a convivial, shared experience. Rosa, painting centuries earlier, wrote to a patron:

'I do not paint to enrich myself but purely for my own satisfaction. I must allow myself to be carried away by the transports of enthusiasm and use my brushes only when I feel myself rapt'.

Both artists provoked controversy. Rosa for his eccentric behaviour, stormy temper and fascination with witchcraft; Hornel for what was deemed to be at the time his 'unrealistic' manner of picture-making. His brightly coloured pattern-making makes it difficult to identify the large white butterfly which the girls are chasing.