from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The people and animals represented in a landscape painting
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Every city of any historic importance breeds a class of mortals that are born guides; they have come to belong to the "staffage" of picturesque surroundings; and in this respect Prague is happily yet unspoilt.
If, as Michiel and the 1569 inventory perhaps imply, the figures were mere staffage, added to heighten the mood, to underline mankind's vulnerability before the forces of nature, it would certainly make this masterpiece quite unique in the history of Renaissance art.
Wild birds form of themselves a very conspicuous and interesting feature in the staffage, as painters call it, of the natural landscape, and they are important elements in the view we are taking of geography, whether we consider their immediate or their incidental influence.
And that, surely, is the point - in a painted landscape, the land, the horizon and the sky should dominate, with figures, animals and other staffage mere embellishments to decorate the view.
No painting better makes the point that these works record the city's daily life than his View of the Tiber at the Ripa Grande, even though the figures in the foreground have something of a biblical air and echo the staffage of Salvator Rosa; the canvas is big, roughly one metre high and two wide, the scale at which he is most at ease.
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