Of course the phenomenon of “vedutismo” that occurred in the Italy of the eighteenth century, the greatest representatives are the Venetian painters such as the great Francesco Guardi and his romantic landscapes or Canaleto and his most festive views of the city of canals.
View of the Bay of Naples by Lusieri
But they were not the only cases. Throughout Italy there were painters who knew how to create vedutas or views of their cities and landscapes for the we althy aristocrats who made their great journey through the transalpine country.
Another example could be Giovanni Battista Lusieri (1755 – 1821), of whom we see here his famous View of the Bay of Naples, who painted this southern Italian city in 1791 and is now part of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in the United States. By the way, the delicacy of the work does not allow an easy exhibition, since it is a great watercolor and its maintenance is quite complicated.
This artist, as was the case with Canaleto, is supposed to use the optical camera to make his paintings. An apparatus that was used to take detailed sketches in the open air of the views to be made, and that was later used to make the final images in the workshop. This is due to the accuracy in the architectural forms that are represented. Just as the proportions of each of the elements are very exact.that can be seen in this very wide panoramic view of the Neapolitan bay. And the truth is that today many buildings have been added or others have disappeared, but the key elements of this veduta are still identifiable in the current Neapolitan landscape.
The view goes from Pizzofalcone to Posilippo. Precisely in a very different view from the most usual one that is usually oriented towards Mount Vesuvius. And the truth is that the fabric is of a considerable size. In other words, it would be a remarkable commission, and it is thought that the commissioner of it would beWiliam Hamilton, who described how he attends his landing inLondon.
The relationship of Lusieri with this British potentate went beyond the making of these panoramic paintings. In fact, W. Hamilton, as the English ambassador, worked with Lord Elgin, the famous aristocrat who went to Athens to dismantle the Parthenon marbles that remain today exhibited at the British Museum in the English capital. And Lusieri was also hired there to paint various views of the Athenian Acropolis.