Landscape with a Ruined Tower

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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Figures placed carefully across the landscape lead us through the painting, from the peasants resting by a path to the rider and his white horse, and on to those walking towards a ruined arch and tower. To the right, a cow herder and his animals rest by the river while two women on the far bank wash clothes. Thick, expressive brushstrokes describe the people and animals; highlighted by the sunlight, they stand out against areas of shade.

This picture was once thought to be by Francesco Zuccarelli, whose work Zais clearly studied. Zais spent most of his career in Venice and painted scenes inspired by the Italian countryside; his Landscape with a Group of Figures and Landscape with a Group of Figures Fishing are also in the National Gallery’s collection.

The National Gallery, London



Landscape with a Ruined Tower


probably 1760-80


Oil on canvas


H 70.2 x W 95.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bequeathed by the Misses Cohen as part of the John Samuel Collection, 1906

Work type



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The National Gallery, London

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