Franz Ludwig Catel / A View of Naples through a Window / 1824Franz Ludwig Catel
A View of Naples through a Window

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Creator Name: Kline, Franz
Creator Nationality: European; Northern European; German
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1778 - 1856
Biography: Catel grew up in a French Huguenot family in Berlin and as a youth assisted in carving wooden figures at his father's toy store. After attending the Berlin academy and making watercolors and book illustrations, he went to Paris in 1807 where he studied oil painting at the École des Beaux-Arts until leaving for Rome in 1811. There he befriended neoclassicist landscape painter Joseph Anton Koch (1768-1839), mythological painter Jakob Asmus Carstens (1754-1798), and the group of German paint-ers called the Nazarenes. Catel's own work mostly consisted of landscape panoramas and Neapolitan folk scenes. Such paintings were highly sought after by the many foreign travelers who came to Italy, and Catel's fame and fortune grew considerably. In 1814 he married Margherita Prunetti, and by 1825 they could afford to live on Piazza di Spagna, where he entertained many artists and visitors. Catel also belonged to a group of artists who gathered around Crown Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria (1786-1868), who frequently visited Rome and who strongly supported the arts. In 1824 Catel portrayed this group at a joyful gathering in Crown Prince Ludwig in the Spanish Tavern in Rome (Neue Pinakothek, Munich). It included, among others, architect Leo von Klenze (1784-1864), sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1768-1844), and painter Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1844). In 1813 Catel had accompanied the French archaeologist Aubin Louis Millin (1759-1818) to Pompeii in order to make drawings. After that Catel traveled south on various occasions; in 1818 he visited Sicily, and in 1824 he joined architect and painter Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841) on a trip to Naples. Prince Heinrich of Prussia commissioned one of his few history paintings in 1834, Christ's Resurrection, for the Luisenkirche in Charlottenburg. His comfortable financial situation allowed him to support struggling artists, and he organized exhibitions of German artists in Rome. Long after his death this generosity still survives in his founda-tion Pio Istituto Catel, which supports German and Italian artists.
Gender: M
Creator Birth Place: Berlin, 22 February 1778
Creator Death Place: Rome, 19 December 1856
Creator Name-CRT: Franz Ludwig Catel
Title: A View of Naples through a Window
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1824
Creation End Date: 1824
Creation Date: 1824
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: Oil on paper, mounted on canvas
Dimensions: Unframed: 46.8cm x 33.5cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1994.198
Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
Provenance: Robert Manning collection, U.S., attributed to Antonie Pitloo (1791-1837). Simon Dickinson, Ltd., New York and London. Danny Katz, Ltd., London. Purchased by the cma in 1994.
Context: 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.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1994.198
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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