Beautiful oil on canvas depicting a nighttime eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The scene takes place in the Bay of Naples, from the breakwater, where fishermen have just landed near a rock and are busy hauling in their nets.
In the background, Vesuvius offers us an explosive eruption with a red plume of magma projections, clouds of ash and incandescent gases; and an effusive one with a lava flow descending down the right face of the volcano.
The glow of lava radiates from the famous San Vincenzo lighthouse, its quay and the entire sea.
The fury of the Neapolitan ogre contrasts with the peaceful moonlight of fishermen accustomed to the volcano's splendor.
Oil on canvas, well preserved, minor wear and tear.
Louis XVI period gilded wood frame decorated with rais de cœur and pearl friezes.
On the reverse of the stretcher, pencil inscription "Mount Vesuvius by Vernet, 1760". Inscription "Belongs to Mr. Jh? Pictet", and in smaller type: "Mount Vesuvius by La...".
A label in the corner of the frame bears "n° 16".
Frame : Height ; 87 cm, Width : 112 cm
Canvas : Height : 75 cm ; Width : 97 cm
Our view :
Vesuvius' activity in the mid-18th century had major impact in Europe, attracting many scientists and members of the nobility to Italy on their Grand Tour.
Many painters stayed at the foot of the volcano, but few dared to depict the light effects of the erupting volcano. Those who did, such as Chevalier Volaire and Joseph Vernet, were above all specialists in harbor views, and were immensely successful.
In the wake of Vernet, the Provençal painter the Provencal painter Charles-François Grenier de Lacroix spent time in Naples between 1760 and 1770. He produced a number of fine views of the city and some depictions of the active volcano.
The iconography of the fishermen, their positioning on the rocks and the way they haul in their nets, is characteristic of the Marseille painter.
The provenance of an old family from the south of France and the inscription referring to the "Pictet" family both point to the hypothesis of a French work commissioned by a French speaker.
The Pictet family includes some illustrious characters, but the profile of Marc-Auguste (1752-1825) seems particularly interesting. A renowned Swiss scientist (physicist, meteorologist and astronomer), he travelled to several European countries to study volcanoes, including Naples, where he wrote extensively about Vesuvius.
While many gouaches depicting the eruption of Vesuvius are well known, this is not the case for oil paintings.
These colorful eruptions are extremely rare on the market today, and particularly sought-after for their decorative character.
Price : on request