100. Anton Alexandre von Werner

Frankfurt an der Oder, 1843 – 1915 Berlin

Houses on the Isle of Capri, 1869

The German history painter Anton von Werner is known for his large, highly staged paintings of military subjects, a far cry from this small informal oil sketch. Painted during his travels in Italy between 1868-69, it depicts a group of houses on Capri and the slopes of Monte Solaro, the highest mountain on the island, with part of the dome of S. Stefano silhouetted on the right. Werner was a close friend of the poet and novelist Joseph Victor von Scheffel (1826–1886), and illustrated a deluxe edition of his epic poem Der Trompeter von Säckingen, which was written on the island. Thanks to the illustration that accompanies the opening verses, describing a man pacing on Don Pagano’s rooftop,1 we can identify the spot from where the sketch was painted. Since the 1820s, most artists visiting the island would stay at the Hotel Pagano, and countless views of the town of Capri were taken from its rooftop terrace and garden.