This large romantical painting depicts Bay of Naples near Castellamare with far view of Vesuvius. It was executed around 1830-1840s. Despite the absence of a signature, the painting has many criteria for the manner of execution, motive and time of creation to be attributed to the hand of the German Romanticist and marine painter Friederick Thöming, who spent years in Naples and whose favorite motif was Gulf of Naples.
For comparison with another proven Neapolitan works by Thöming see our additional images, especially a small but very similar work " Abendstimmung in der Bucht von Neapel bei Castellamare (1847), sold in auction house Herrenhaus Toestorf on 30.08.2003.
Friedrich Thöming (born August 27, 1802 in Eckernförde, † April 21, 1873 in Naples) was a marine painter.
Thöming began his artistic career in 1822 with a series of prints depicting the Schleswig-Holstein Canal. After training as a lithographer, he worked at Speckter&Herterich in Hamburg for a few views of the city. In 1823 he attended the Copenhagen Art Academy for about a year as a student of Jens Peter Møller and immediately had notable success with purchases for the private collection of Crown Prince Christian Friedrich and the Royal Picture Gallery. Under the influence of C.W. Eckersberg he turned to marine painting.
The desire to travel to Italy first took him to southern Germany in 1824, where he worked as a lithographer in Nuremberg and Munich. In 1827 he arrived in Rome, but his real destiny was the Gulf of Naples, where he found the motifs for the rest of his life in the summer months, which he processed into paintings in his Roman studio in winter. His most important patron was the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, who gradually acquired six of his paintings.
In August 1828, Thöming visited Capri for the first time, where he subsequently found accommodation in the legendary "Hotel Pagano"; In 1829 he came with the painter August Kopisch, who is considered the discoverer of the Blue Grotto. Thöming was one of the first to successfully market the Blue Grotto motif in small-format paintings. Thöming sold his paintings of Capri and the coasts between Sorrento and Amalfi to wealthy and not infrequently prominent travelers to Italy, and he organized exhibitions in Copenhagen, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt. His companions included the poets Hans Christian Andersen and August Graf von Platen. The architect Gottfried Semper copied some of Thöming's pictures to train his sense of colour.
When cholera was raging in Italy, he accepted an invitation to Frankfurt am Main, which had probably been issued by Carl Mayer von Rothschild, who headed the Naples branch of the Frankfurt bank. Thöming stayed in Frankfurt for two years, where he made contact with the local art scene and successfully participated in exhibitions.
Around 1840 Thöming was back in Italy, where he was considered a great "celebrity" among sea painters and a wealthy bachelor. In 1844 he married an 18-year-old Neapolitan woman and, with his wife, proved to be a generous host and amiable Cicerone in Rome and in Naples. In 1853, signs of paralysis appeared, probably as a result of a stroke, which very soon made it impossible to work. Thöming, his wife and two children fell into abject poverty. In 1865 it can still be proven that he once stayed at the Hotel Pagano on Capri; then all sources dry up. His widow survived him by many years, she also died in Naples in 1892.
Literature: Benezit "Dict. d. Peintres etc.", Paris, 1999; Thieme/ Becker "General Dictionary of Artists”, Leipzig, 1999; on-line Wikipedia.
Technique: oil on canvas. Luxuriousy original period gold-plated frame.
Measurements: unframed w 39 1/3" x h 31 1/2" (100 x 80 cm), framed w 44 2/3" x h 36 1/3" (113,5 x 92,5 cm).
Condition: in good condition, professionally restored and the canvas relining.