Oil on paper, mounted on canvas
Framed: 59.5 x 46 x 5.5 cm (23 7/16 x 18 1/8 x 2 3/16 in.); Unframed: 46.8 x 33.5 cm (18 7/16 x 13 3/16 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1994.198
Mount Vesuvius was almost continuously active at the time that Franz Ludwig Catel visited Naples, and erupted just two years before this painting was completed.
Franz Ludwig Catel worked in Rome and later traveled south to Naples. This painting presents that city’s most distinctive attraction: Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano that appears against an otherwise calm sky. Catel portrayed the scene from within a hotel room, contrasting the potentially overwhelming force of nature with the illusion of protection offered by distance and enclosed space.
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