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A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639
A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639 - Paintings & Drawings Style A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639 - A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639 - Antiquités - A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639
Ref : 113086
6 000 €
Period :
17th century
Artist :
Thomas Wijck et « in Napoli agosto 1639
Provenance :
Medium :
Pen and ink wash on paper
Dimensions :
L. 15.24 inch X H. 9.29 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639 17th century - A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639  - A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639 Antiquités - A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639
Stéphane Renard Fine Art

Old master paintings and drawings

+33 (0) 61 46 31 534
A View of the Bay of Naples drawn en plein air by Thomas Wijck in 1639

9 1/4 ‘’ x 15 1/4’’ (236 x 387 mm) - 17 7/8’’ x 23 7/8’’ (45.5 x 60.5 cm)
Provenance: Maria Paternò Castello Ricci (1845-1847 ? - 1915 ?) - Lugt 5081
Dutch-style blackened wood frame with gadroons

Signed and dated "in Napoli agosto 1639"

This large-scale study was executed in August 1639 by Thomas Wijck, an artist of the Dutch Golden Age during his stay in Naples, probably outdoors near the St. Vincent pier. We find its modernity and simplicity highly attractive. While this drawing testifies to the artist's arrival in Naples at the very beginning of his Italian sojourn, the importance of this journey in the young painter's training can be measured by the recurrence of Neapolitan subjects in the paintings executed throughout his career after his return to the Netherlands.

1. Thomas Wijck, a Dutch Golden Age artist and a great traveller

Thomas Wijck, also known as Thomas Wyck, was a Dutch painter trained in Haarlem in the studio of the painter Adriaen van Ostade (1610 - 1685). He then travelled to Italy, probably around 1640 : a "Tommaso fiammingo, pittore" (Thomas the Fleming, painter) is documented as residing in 1640 in Rome, Via della Fontanella.

In 1642, Wijck was back in the northern Netherlands, enrolled at the St. Luke's Guild in Haarlem. On May 22 of that year, he was married in Haarlem. His presence in Haarlem is documented again in 1658, 1659, 1669 and 1676.

Unlike our drawing, few of Wijck's artworks are dated, which makes it difficult to establish which paintings were executed in Italy, since even after his return to the Netherlands, he painted numerous Italianate landscapes, using black chalk and wash drawings made during his stay in Italy, many of which have survived. Wijck generally presents views of Rome's alleyways, devoid of the great antique and Renaissance monuments that were the focus of other Flemish and Dutch Italianate painters.

While it is rarely possible to identify precise locations in his works, Wijck's urban views, composed in the studio according to specific structural principles, seem more convincing and realistic than those created by many Italianate artists of the second half of the 17th century. Some of Wijck's paintings, such as The Morra Players (Vienna, Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste) or Peasants in a Courtyard (Philadelphia, PA, Museum of Arts), show close links with the bambocciata paintings (scenes of daily life) of the early 1640s, and bear witness to the influence of Pieter van Lar (1599 - 1642).

In his later years, Wijck produced artworks closely related in style and subject to Dutch genre painting, such as his interior scenes with alchemists (e.g., Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Munich, Alte Pinakothek, 856). He also traveled to London between 1663 and 1668, where he probably attended the Great Fire of 1666, and again in 1673-1674. Returning with his son, the painter Jan Wijck, he painted decorations for Ham House, before ending his days in Haarlem.

2. Description and related artworks

To the best of our knowledge, this drawing is the only dated record of Wijck's stay in Naples, at the very beginning of his trip to Italy, before his somewhat better-documented move to Rome.

The interest of this drawing lies in the fact that it was most likely executed with a pen in plein air, although it is possible that the washes were added later. The background shows a view of Vesuvius as seen from the Saint Vincent pier, an important jetty protecting the port of Naples. The detail from Antonio Joli's painting The Departure of King Charles III from Naples (8th photo in the gallery, shows this jetty with Vesuvius in the background.

The right-hand side of our drawing depicts the Saint Vincent tower, an important structure that served as a lighthouse on the pier, as it was in 1639.

It seems to us that this tower was added to our drawing at a later stage (the landscape drawing being continued under that of the architectural ensemble), and it is entirely possible that the artist depicted it from a different angle than that used to draw the landscape in the background. A painting attributed to the circle of Filippo Napoletano (1587 - 1629) and executed around 1640 (9th photo in the gallery) depicts the St. Vincent tower and the barracks at its foot in a manner faithful to our drawing, but without Vesuvius in the background...

Neapolitan subjects continued to be part of the artist's favorite subjects after his return to Haarlem, as can be seen in this View of an Oriental Port, executed around 1650, in which we find both Vesuvius smoking in the background, but also the Saint Vincent Tower on the right (Alte Pinakothek – Münich - 10th photo in the gallery).

The Neapolitan elements were to be taken up by Thomas Wijck in various compositions throughout his life, as shown by this View of the Bay of Naples with oriental Figures and an antique Statue (National Trust - Ham House - last photo in the gallery) painted in 1673 - 1674 during his second stay in England, which also features the St. Vincent Tower in the background.

3. Provenance and framing

A coat-of-arms stamp (Lugt 5081) on the verso of the paper on which our fragile drawing was glued in full provides information on its provenance. This coat of arms corresponds to that of the Paternò Castello family, more precisely to the branch of the Dukes of Carcaci (even if it is not surmounted by a ducal crown), and suggests that this drawing may have been bought in Naples, before belonging to Florentine collections (we bought it in Florence).

This stamp, which appears to date from the 19th or early 20th century, can be found on several drawings belonging to Marquis Ricci-Riccardi in Florence. This may have been the Marquis Antonio Ricci Riccardi, who died in 1916. The marquis, who was a historian, had married Maria Paternò Castello (1845/1847 ? -1915?) in 1870, the daughter of Gaetano Maria 7e Duke of Carcaci. Maria Paternò Castello, Marchesa Ricci, was a poet. According to information provided by her family (and listed on the Fondation Custodia website), she built up a collection of drawings. The couple appear to have had no descendants, and the collection is said to have passed to members of the Paternò Castello family, who then dispersed it.

These coats-of-arms have been reported on sheets belonging to a group of drawings by Claude Lorrain and his entourage, as well as by Salvator Rosa (sale 1974, June 12, Berne, Kornfeld und Klipstein, Auktion 151, nos 72, 73, 99, 161, 162, and probably also on nos 56, 57, 63, 64, 66, 94 and 95), or on other Italian drawings: Avignon, Musée Calvet, inv. 996-7-33, as Simone Cantarini; Marseille, Musée des Beaux-Arts, as attributed to Lanfranco, inv. 987.4.1; Mela collection, as anonymous, 17th century; a drawing given to Pinturicchio (private collection); sale 2001, June 7, Hamburg, Hauswedell & Nolte, Auktion 357, no 264 as Bartolomeo Pinelli; sale 2015, May 22, Ketterer Kunst, Auktion 422, no 145, anonymous Italian 17th century.

This drawing has been framed by us in a Dutch-style blackened wooden gadroon frame.

Delevery information :

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Stéphane Renard Fine Art


Drawing & Watercolor