View full screen - View 1 of Lot 209. Southern Italian landscape by moonlight.
209

Antonie Sminck Pitloo

Southern Italian landscape by moonlight

Estimate:

12,000 to - 18,000 GBP

The Property of a European Private Collector

208

209

Antonie Sminck Pitloo

Antonie Sminck Pitloo

Southern Italian landscape by moonlight

Southern Italian landscape by moonlight

Estimate:

12,000 to - 18,000 GBP

The Property of a European Private Collector

Antonie Sminck Pitloo

Arhnem 1791 - 1837 Naples

Southern Italian landscape by moonlight


signed lower right: S.Pitloo

oil on canvas

unframed: 20.9 x 27.7 cm.; 8 1/4 x 10 7/8 in.

framed: 34.6 x 40.1 cm.; 13 5/8 x 15 3/4 in.

The canvas is lined, the paint surface is relatively clean, and the varnish is relatively clear and even. The brush strokes are very well preserved. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals fine lines of retouching along all four margins, and a more concentrated area 1 cm. long in the bank below the trees lower left. There is also some rather broad, wash retouching throughout the sky. The painting appears in good overall condition and presents well in its current state.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 25 January 2008, lot 420, where acquired.

Following two years' study in Paris between 1808-10 with the plein-airistes Bidauld and Bertin, Sminck Pitlo (he later added an o to his name to forestall misidentification as an Italian) spent the rest of his life in Italy, where he too specialized in plein-air painting. He was summoned by the Russian diplomat and connoisseur Count Grigory Orloff from Rome to Naples, where he won by public competition in 1816 the post of Professor of Landscape at the Academy. With his principal pupils Giacinto Gigante and Achille Vianelli he founded a school of landscape painting called the School of Posillipo, named after the area of Naples where he lived. As the present picture perfectly exemplifies, Pitloo was particularly interested in the effects of meteorology and the extremities of the day on light and colour.


The English connoisseur Lord Napier understood Pitloo's art perfectly, when he wrote: 'his manner is not very careful or scholastic, but full of sensibility. His pencil is always true to general effects, whether his canvass represents the prospect basking in the mid-day brightness of the Italian sky, or the waves flashing in the train of the level sun, or the fields refreshed and steaming in the dawn; every colour finds its counterpart on his palette, and no aerial magic is so evanescent as to elude his subtle imitation: although not so perfect in the delineation of particular objects, he could touch the different kinds of foliage with sufficient exactness; his foregrounds were managed with taste; and his figures, being prudently removed to some distance from the eye, formed an agreeable adjunct to the inanimate scene.' (F. Napier, Notes on Modern Painting at Naples, London 1855, p. 69).