Franz Ludwig Catel (German, 1778-1856)
A View of Naples through a Window, 1824. Franz Ludwig Catel (German, 1778-1856). Oil on paper, mounted on canvas; framed: 59.5 x 46 x 5.5 cm (23 7/16 x 18 1/8 x 2 3/16 in.); unframed: 46.8 x 33.5 cm (18 7/16 x 13 3/16 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1994.198. Catel lived most of his life in Rome, where he usually painted landscapes and peasant scenes that were very popular with tourists. He often traveled through Italy, and in 1824, he visited Naples with the famous German neoclassical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841). Schinkel noted in his diary that the two friends had rented an apartment in the “Albergo alla Grand Europa.” It must have been from that apartment that Catel painted this captivating view of a sun- drenched afternoon in Naples. We will never know whether Mount Vesuvius actually released a smoke plume when this view was painted, but it certainly adds drama to the composition.