93. Louis Léopold Robert

Les Eplatures, Neuchâtel 1794 – 1835 Venice

View of Naples with Vesuvius, 1821

The Swiss painter Léopold Robert was a pupil of David, and lived in Italy from 1818 until his death in 1835. He travelled all around the country and made a name for himself painting colourful scenes of brigands and Italian peasant life. During a visit to Naples in 1821, he captured this delicate view of the city at dawn with Vesuvius as a backdrop. In this simple yet sophisticated composition, the contre-jour lighting immerses the Castel dell’Ovo and the buildings in the foreground in a dark shadow. Looking across the bay, probably from a high terrace, the water, mountain and sky appear almost merged in cool shades of pale blue, with only a touch of yellow and pink warmth on the horizon.