Saverio Xavier della Gatta (Naples 1777-1829) View of Vesuvius; and View at Portici a pair, gouaches

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Lot 8
Saverio della Gatta
(Naples 1777-1829)
Grand Tourists visiting the Temple of Isis at Pompeii; and a View of the Royal Palace at Portici (2)

Sold for £ 25,000 (US$ 31,608) inc. premium
Saverio della Gatta (Naples 1777-1829)
Grand Tourists visiting the Temple of Isis at Pompeii; and a View of the Royal Palace at Portici with Vesuvius beyond
the second signed and dated 'Xavo Gatta p.1785' (lower left)
a pair, gouache on laid paper
41 x 63cm (16 1/8 x 24 13/16 in). (2)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired by the family of the present owner in the late 19th century, and thence by descent to the present owner

    Dominated by the presence of Vesuvius in the background, the latter gouache depicts the royal palace of Portici on the Southern side of Naples. The viewpoint taken is the same as Giovanni Battista Lusieri (1755-1821) used in his view of Portici, most probably executed for Queen Maria Carolina as a gift for her sister Maria Christina of Austria in 1784 (private collection, Turin). The only differences between the two works are found in the figures of the foreground. It is interesting to note that two years later, the year after the present work, Lusieri requested permission to engrave and publish the twelve views he had painted for the queen and also to ask for copyright protection preventing anyone else in the kingdom from plagiarising them for twelve years.

    The Temple of Isis, shown in the second gouache, was first excavated in 1764 and its discovery sparked enormous interest from artists and grand tourists, becoming one of the more popular subjects depicted by visitors to Pompeii.

    One of the best known figures in the very popular medium of gouache painting in Naples in the 18th century, Saverio della Gatta, worked both for the court and for visiting tourists. In 1782 he was appointed, along with Alessandro d'Anna (see following lot) by King Ferdinand IV to produce a group of paintings illustrating the various costumes of the realm. He continued working for the court throughout his career and amongst his most significant works are his series of pictures describing the turbulent political events of 1799 and the restoration of the Bourbon kings (see for example Veduta del Palazzo Reale, nel momento che vien tagliato l'albero della Libertà e la truppa in massa diretta dagli Inglesi, sold in these rooms on 27 November 1991, lot 41, for £68,000).
Contacts
Saverio Xavier della Gatta (Naples 1777-1829) View of Vesuvius; and View at Portici a pair, gouaches
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