This painting with prayers in the Grotto to the Holy Rosalia on the Monte Pellegrino near Palermo was executed in 1858 by famous German landscape and architecture painter Julius Eduard Wilhelm Helfft (1818 - Berlin - 1894).
Julius Helfft studied as a pupil of the landscape painter Wilhelm Schirmer from 1835 at the Royal Prussian Academy of the Arts in Berlin. At the academy exhibitions he has since 1836 landscape and architectural views from the Mark Brandenburg, Saxony, Bohemia and Silesia and after his first study stay in Florence, Rome, Naples and Genoa, between 1843 and 1847, also vedute from Italian regions. Some of his paintings were acquired by Friedrich Wilhelm IV, of which at least six hung in Prussian castles. In the last years of his life, Helfft was unable to pursue his profession because of an eye condition.
He made a part of his sketches and studies to the Berlin Academy of Art and founded a foundation whose yield the academy annually after a competition of young German landscape painters the winner as "Julius Helfftschen Prize" to finance a one-year study trip.
Works by the artist:
Venice: The Riva degli Schiavoni, outside in the west the Punta della Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute, 1844View from the terrace of a house in Sorrento on Vesuvius, 1845Sicilian Klosterhof, 1847Villa Frascati in Rome, 1848The music room by Fanny Hensel, née Mendelssohn Bartholdy, 1849Venice, 1849Villa with Pergola on the Gulf of Naples, 1850 (the painting was created in memory of the meeting in Rome 1845 with his cousin Fanny Lewald and their later husband, the writer Adolf Stahr, for whom Julius Helffts painted the veduta. The landscape painting is part of the museum equipment of the castle Glienicke, Berlin)View of Venice, 1854Doge´s Palace in Venice, 1856Convent of San Giorgio Maggiore in VenicePalazzo Vecchio in Florence
Literature : Julius Helfft. In: Hans Vollmer (eds.): General Lexicon of the visual artists from antiquity to the present. Founded by Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker. Vol. 16: Hansen – Heubach. E. A. Seaman, Leipzig 1923, pp. 330; on-line Wikipedia.
Provenance: previous Swiss private collection.Inscription: signed and dated lower in the middle; on the back of stretcher - antique label (probably by the artist) with the name and the title of the painting.
Technique: oil on canvas, original period gilt frame.
Measurements: image diameter w 23 1/4" x h 17 1/3" (59 x 44 cm), framed w 31 1/8" x h 25 1/4" (79 x 64 cm).
Condition: in very good condition.