OSWALD ACHENBACH | VIEW OF THE BAY OF NAPLES, WITH VESUVIUS BEYOND
Property from Marco Voena, London, Milan & St. Moritz
Düsseldorf 1827 - 1905
VIEW OF THE BAY OF NAPLES, WITH VESUVIUS BEYOND
signed and dated lower centre: Osw Achenbach 1885.
oil on canvas
unframed: 78 x 102 cm.; 31 x 40 in.
framed: 101 x 123 cm.; 40 x 48 1/2 in.
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The canvas has been relined and is attached to a keyed wooden stretcher which is providing stable support.
The paint surface is clean and stable.
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals extensive clusters of retouching in the sky, mostly addressing some thinness to the paint due to previous cleaning. A circa 10 by 5cm area of retouching is also visible in the sea, closer to the centre of the right framing edge, possibly addressing an old tear. Other scattered spots and strokes are also visible. However a layer of residual varnish prevents the UV from fully penetrating and makes the surface quite difficult to read.
Overall, this work presents very well and is ready to hang.
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, Cologne, Van Ham, 20 November 2009, lot 211.
"Rightly celebrated for his mastery of light, Achenbach shows us here how piercing the Mediterranean sun can be even in the early evening, as the shadows are lengthening. Few artists could have blended so beautifully the smoke rising from the chimneys with the haze hanging over Vesuvius."
Achenbach’s Italian vedute are among his most popular works. Having trained in Düsseldorf and studied the landscape of the surrounding area, Achenbach went on to visit Bavaria, northern Italy and Switzerland. It was upon journeying to Rome and the Campagna in 1850, and later to Naples and Capri in 1857, however, that his style developed to truly convey the sensation of plein-air landscape, focusing on the depiction of light and colour to emulate atmosphere. Here, the famous vista of Vesuvius is suffused with the evocative light of a late summer afternoon in southern Italy, permeating the painting with a quiet, idyllic atmosphere. The bright white used for the façade of the house, and likewise picked up in the retreating form of the horse in the foreground, provides a focus almost in the centre of the composition, leading the viewer’s eye towards Vesuvius. The figures on the roof of the building, and on the balcony beyond, are secondary to the relative forms of the cypress trees, the architecture, and the scene beyond. This particular viewpoint was particularly favoured by Achenbach, and the collection of houses and trees appear in other works by the artist, such as that sold at Christie’s, Amsterdam, 26 November 2004, lot 15.