This is a classic view of the unfinished palace designed by Cosimo Fanzago for Anna Carafa, wife of a seventheenth-century Spanish viceroy of Naples. With Vesuvius smoldering in the distance, Castel del’Ovo jutting into the bay, and Neapolitan boatmen plying the water, all the elements of the Picturesque are present in this composition. As if to contravene the scene’s sense of timelessness, Coignet incised the location and date into the still-wet paint at lower left, emphasizing the speed with which he completed the painting.
Inscription: Inscribed and dated (lower left): Naples 1843; signed (lower right): J. Coignet.
the artist, Paris (1843–d. 1860; possibly his sale, Hôtel des ventes mobiliers, Paris, February 10–12, 1845, no. 26, as "Vieux château en ruine sur des rochers, sur le devant des eaux et de petits personnages," bought in; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 11–12, 1861, no. 15, as "Palais de la reine Jeanne [Naples]"); [Talabardon & Gautier, Paris, by 2002; sold to Thaw]; Eugene V. Thaw, New York (by 2007–9)
Paris. Talabardon & Gautier. "Le paysage français de Valenciennes à Bonington," September 18–October 26, 2002, no. 18 (as "Naples, vue du palais de Donn'Anna").
Bertrand Talabardon and Bertrand Gautier. Le paysage français de Valenciennes à Bonington. Exh. cat., Talabardon & Gautier. Paris, 2002, unpaginated, no. 18, ill. (color).
Esther Bell. "Catalogue Raisonné of the Thaw Collection." Studying Nature: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection. Ed. Jennifer Tonkovich. New York, 2011, p. 110, no. 25, ill. (color), calls it "The Palace of Donn'Anna, Naples".