Salvator Rosa was one of the boldest and most powerfully inventive artists and personalities of the Italian 17th century. In Britain he is now best known for his wild landscapes, those scenes of which Horace Walpole so memorably wrote: "Precipices, mountains, torrents, wolves, rumblings - Salvator Rosa". But Rosa was far more than this. He invented a range of new types of painting - novel allegorical pictures, distinguished by a haunting and melancholy poetry; fanciful portraits of romantic and enigmatic figures; macabre and horrific subjects, which give expression to the dark side of 17th-century triumphalism; highly original philosophical subjects, which bring into painting some of the major philosophical and scientific concerns of the age. His mature art is characterized by his dazzlingly free technique, rich chiaroscuro and dark but strong colors. No other artist has created windswept landscapes of such expressive and emotional power, or figures of such brooding intensity.