Watercolor with graphite; framing lines in black ink
Support: Cream wove paper laid down on gray-blue laid paper (artist's mount?)
Sheet: 26.9 x 37.9 cm (10 9/16 x 14 15/16 in.); Secondary Support: 27.5 x 37.9 cm (10 13/16 x 14 15/16 in.)
Gift of the John B. Putnam Foundation 1968.69
Mount Vesuvius was almost continuously active at the time that Adolf von Heydeck visited Naples, and erupted just two years after this drawing was completed.
Adolf von Heydeck worked in Rome and later traveled south to Naples. This drawing presents that city’s most distinctive attraction: Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano that appears against an otherwise calm sky. Von Heydeck portrayed the scene from within a cave interior, contrasting the potentially overwhelming force of nature with the illusion of protection offered by distance and enclosed space.
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