Browse by Artist

Artist: Vernet, Claude-Joseph 1 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next

Bay of Naples, 1762

Claude-Joseph Vernet

French, 1714-1789
Oil on canvas
28-1/2 x 38 in. (72.4 x 96.5 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1965.1.070.P
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Signed and dated by the most important marine painter of the eighteenth century, this scene is executed with Vernet’s characteristic delicacy and atmospheric light. The artist spent twenty years in Italy, many of them in Naples, and his views of the bay were popular with English travellers and members of French diplomatic circles. His election to Rome’s Accademia di San Luca in 1743 indicates the high regard accorded him.

When Vernet painted this tranquil scene, Naples was a thriving center of art and commerce, and a great draw to European travelers on the Grand Tour. With picturesque views like this one, Vernet catered to wealthy tourists’ desire for souvenirs of the beguiling port city. Anecdotal elements, such as the passengers entering the canopied boat, add human interest to his compositions.

View Provenance


Artist: Vernet, Claude-Joseph 1 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next