Sketchbook: Souvenir of Naples
Unknown Artist (Italian, 19th century)
Sketchbook with faded calfskin binding, pink endpapers and 56 views of Naples arranged two a page on 28 facing pages: pages 1-24 in watercolor over graphite, pages 25-28 in gouache.
Sketchbook 225 x 180 mm; scenes each 72 x 104 mm
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Not on view
This charming sketchbook, assembled in Naples and bound in France, combines fifty-two topographical and architectural scenes including several of Vesuvius erupting against a night sky. The album was probably made by a Neapolitan artist specializing in ricordi (memories) for tourists. The drawings in watercolor or gouache appear to record a journey in and around Naples, with side trips to the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and parts of northern Sicily. While several artists may have contributed to the souvenir book, the volcanic imagery appears to have been drawn by a single hand. That the album includes so many Vesuvian views along with scenes of the recently unearthed Pompeii and then modern Naples gives it a treasured value as a document of record.
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