Memories of Patrick Rosa, direct descendant of Salvator Rosa

Salvator Rosa (1615 - 1673), Self Portrait about 1645

Patrick Rosa, a direct descendant of Salvator Rosa, 1615-1673 (exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery until 28 November) sent this article to Dulwich OnView.

I was always very close to Elisa Rosa who took the place of my mother who died in the autumn of 1954. I was 6 years old.

Elisa and Emile, my two maternal grandparents were a romantic couple. They lived in the workshop left by their brother-in-law painter and that they had transformed into a house with refined and fashionable originality. It was magnificently situated in the Montparnasse district, the most poetic part of Paris.

I had twenty years of the most beautiful memories of my childhood then my youth while I lived there with them.

My open-minded intellect and training for adult life was the result of listening to their advice and the firm educational directives of Elisa.

I developed an acute awareness of the beautiful things – paintings of landscapes, seascapes, the Pastoral of Beethoven, the Moldau of Smetana…Peter and the Wolf of Prokofiev. I learnt to read with the short history of France and Europe in the Historia Collection taken from their immense book-case and an appreciation of food in the small dining room, the cucina dinners in a family atmosphere of laughter and Neapolitan dishes. Incantevole.

Salvator Rosa, Lucrezia as Poetry

One day during my adolescence, Elisa told me that the painter Salvator Rosa was our ancestor and that his paintings were in the Louvre. The discovery in a big Larousse dictionary of the history of this ancestor described as ‘a painter of battles’ interested me a lot but did not surprise me.

The strong, magic, Southern Italian character of my grandmother was close to the description of her ancestor’s personality. The relationship was natural. My request to see his paintings in the Louvre and our visit to the museum left in me an indelible memory.

We went there together but we didn’t find them anywhere and even in the Italian paintings department. I asked where my grandmother could see Salvator Rosa’ works.

The curator at that time informed us that Rosa’s paintings were in the cellars of the museum. Elisa was profoundly disappointed when she heard that and I remember she was sad.

While thinking about her sadness, I discovered later on the Web the magnificent creations of Salvator. I created a site about Salvator Rosa on Internet under my ancestorbook.com dedicated to Elisa Lucia, Margareta Rosa. In June 2006, I created the French page on Wikipedia to contribute in France to prevent the forgetting of the Poet Of Arenella in the twentieth century.
”””””””””””””””””
Salvator Rosa and Lucrezia Paolina formed a magnificent artistic couple until their earthly separation in 1673.

Century after century and for ever they prove that they were one positive and powerful poetical light for the Heart and the Soul.

Today in the evening of my life I now know the qualities of Rosa : Truth, Freedom, Poetry.

My references and preferences about Salvator Rosa are:

Books :
• Satires Salvator Rosa 1673 published after 1700
• Vita di Salvator Rosa 1679 Giovanni Battista Passeri 1610-1679
• The Life and Times of Salvator Rosa 1824. Lady Morgan 1776 1859
• Salvator Rosa. Irenne Cattaneo 1904-1996
. Peintures italiennes du XVIIe siècle du musée du Louvre de Stéphane Loire 2006
. Salvator Rosa in French Literature : “From the bizarre to the sublime” (2004) by James Patty.

Museums:
• Le Louvre Paris : room 13 Salvator Rosa : my respectful thanks to Mr Stéphane Loire, chief curator in the Painting Department of the Musée du Louvre.
• Chantilly Condé Museum 13 paintings by S.R
• National Gallery London

Catalogs of exhibitions:
• Salvator Rosa Hayward Gallery London 1973
• Tra mito e magia Napoli 2008
• Salvator Rosa Dulwich 2010

and my maternal family Rosa.

Many thanks to Monsieur Alain Bonnet French Teacher in English for his translation work.

Patrick ROSA
November 2010

Last chance to see Salvator Rosa: Bandits, Wilderness and Magic at Dulwich Picture Gallery. It finishes on 28 November 2010


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