Bay of Naples–A Land of Smouldering Fire

Alfred William Hunt British

Not on view

Seen across the Bay of Naples, Vesuvius emerges from mist at twilight. Ships dot the bay as a single figure, accompanied by a white cat, stands by the golden walls in the left foreground to gaze over the city. In 1871, the Athenaeum, a weekly journal, praised Hunt’s exhibition piece, noting the "thunderous-looking twilight, with reflected gleams like flashes from steel on the sea, and in the sky a look which suggests breathless waiting for a tumult . . . rendering the subject . . . with . . . grandeur and sentiment, this work is, technically speaking, a masterpiece of chiaroscuro." The artist was inspired by atmospheric effects he found in precedents by J. M. W. Turner and J. M. Whistler, the naturalistic agenda of John Ruskin, and the meticulous handling of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Bay of Naples–A Land of Smouldering Fire, Alfred William Hunt (British, Liverpool 1830–1896 London), Watercolor with touches of gouache (bodycolor) over graphite

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