96. Anton Sminck Pitloo

Arnhem 1790 – 1837 Naples

Study of a Pergola, Capri, c. 1820

Pitloo settled in Naples in 1815 and spent the rest of his life in the city, where he set up a private academy of fine arts and was the catalyst for the development of a local landscape tradition known as the School of Posillipo. Pitloo and his pupils preferred working en plein air, capturing landscapes and scenes of everyday life in the Neapolitan countryside. He must have travelled to Capri on several occasions where he stayed in Pagano’s albergo. It was there that he painted these two studies of pergolas (cat. 95 and 96). The luminous green of the vines evokes the brightness of the sun and the welcome relief of the shade the pergolas provided in the heat of summer. In the sketch with the boy (cat. 97), we recognise the profile of the town against Monte Solaro, with the dome of S. Stefano just visible behind the trees on the right.