Salvator Rosa, an Italian painter, born at Aranella, near Naples, June 20, 1615, died in Rome, March 15, 1673. In early life he explored the wildest regions of Calabria, associating with banditti, in the interest of his art. After his father's death he supported the family by making drawings on primed paper, which brought his talent into notice; and he afterward studied under Spagnoletto and Aniello Falcone. He then visited Rome, where he became celebrated not only as a painter, but also as a poet, musician, and actor. In 1647 he took part in the insurrection at Naples under Masaniello, after whose overthrow he fled to Rome. Incurring there the displeasure of the authorities by satirical pictures, he escaped to Florence, where he was employed in the Pitti palace; but after some time he returned to Rome. Among his most celebrated works are the "Catiline Conspiracy," " Saul and the Witch of Endor," "Attilus Regulus," and altarpieces. He is best known as a landscape painter, having been one of the first in Italy to practise that branch with success. He delighted in gloomy effects, powerful contrasts of light and shade, and romantic forms. He also excelled in portraits and as an engraver.
See "The Life and Times of Salvator Rosa," by Lady Morgan (2 vols., London, 1824), and Salvatore Rosa, by Cantł (Milan, 1844).