The Eruption of Vesuvius, A View of Naples Beyond

Pierre Jacques Volaire French

Not on view

Contrasting the hot red lava of Mount Vesuvius with the cool blues of the Bay of Naples by moonlight, this type of dramatic landscape has become synonymous with Pierre Jacques Volaire. Volaire learned the technical skills for capturing such light effects from the preeminent French landscapist of the era, Claude-Joseph Vernet, but found his ideal subject when he moved to Naples in 1769. His paintings held enormous appeal to Grand Tourists, many of whom came specifically to marvel at the active volcano that had famously destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii; such images were central to early Romantic landscape painting and the development of the Sublime, an aesthetic concept in which man is overwhelmed by the power of nature.

The Eruption of Vesuvius, A View of Naples Beyond, Pierre Jacques Volaire (French, Toulon 1729–1799 Naples), Oil on canvas

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