An Eruption of Vesuvius

Johan Christian Dahl Norwegian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 807

Dahl visited Vesuvius just before Christmas 1820, to witness its eruptions at close-hand. He immediately made an oil sketch (Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen) that served as the basis for the present work, completed four years later for Prince Christian Frederik, later King Christian VIII of Denmark. Vesuvius had attracted artists and Grand Tourists alike since the rediscovery of Pompeii in the mid-eighteenth century, offering a vision of the Sublime that served as a counterpoint to the austerity of Neoclassicism.

An Eruption of Vesuvius, Johan Christian Dahl (Norwegian, Bergen 1788–1857 Dresden), Oil on canvas

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