Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sunset, Sorrento

Artist:
Thomas Fearnley (Norwegian, Frederikshald 1802–1842 Munich)
Date:
1834
Medium:
Oil on paper, laid down on card
Dimensions:
5 3/4 x 10 1/8 in. (14.6 x 25.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Thaw Collection, Jointly Owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of Eugene V. Thaw, 2009
Accession Number:
2009.400.57
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 806
As a disciple of Johan Christian Dahl, Thomas Fearnley was particularly attentive to the role of light in his nature studies, and this sunset rendered at Sorrento on May 22, 1834 attests to his outstanding mastery of its effects. After Fearnley’s premature death at the age of thirty-nine, Dahl wrote of his plein-air sketches that they were "better than his finished paintings, for in them he gave of his true self, as he was and as he felt when face-to-face with nature."
Inscription: Initialed, inscribed, and dated (lower right): TF Sorrento D. 22/5 '34
the artist (until d. 1842); his son, Hofjaegermester Thomas Fearnley, Oslo (1842–d. 1927); his son, Thomas Fearnley, Norway (1927–d. 1961); Fearnley family, Norway (1961–2006; sold to Day & Faber); [Day & Faber, London, 2006; sold to Thaw]; Eugene V. Thaw, New York (2006–9)
Oslo. Kunstnerforbundet. "Thomas Fearnley," 1966, no. 89 (as "Sorrento Skisse").

London. Day & Faber. "Wanderlust: Oil Sketches by Thomas Fearnley," December 1–14, 2006, no. 4 (as "Sunset, Sorrento").

New York. Morgan Library & Museum. "Studying Nature: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection," January 23–August 30, 2009, unnum. checklist (as "Sunset Sorrento").

Wanderlust: Oil Sketches by Thomas Fearnley. Exh. brochure, Day & Faber. London, 2006, unpaginated, no. 4, ill. (color), provides provenance; states that the artist's primary aim was to quickly capture fleeting atmospheric effects.

Esther Bell. "Catalogue Raisonné of the Thaw Collection." Studying Nature: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection. Ed. Jennifer Tonkovich. New York, 2011, p. 121, no. 59, ill. (color), calls it "Sunset, Sorrento" and dates it 1833–34.



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