Louis Léopold Robert
(Éplatures 1794-1835 Venice)
View of Naples with Vesuvius
Oil on board mounted on canvas, 18.5 x 28.5 cm
Gift of Carlos van Hasselt and Andrzej Niewęgłowski, 2010; inv. 2010-s.7
The Swiss painter Léopold Robert was a brilliant pupil of Jacques-Louis David and later enjoyed a fine career in Italy. In 1821 and 1825 he travelled to Naples to work on commission. He brought back this sketch on board which compared to his other paintings has a much higher standard of finish. He kept it for himself and it remained with his descendants until the twentieth century. The crystal-clear skies of dawn breaking behind the volcano wonderfully illuminate the grey mass of Castel dell’Ovo and explain the dark foreground shades.