Giuseppe De Nittis

Giuseppe De Nittis
(Barletta 1846 - 1884 St.-Germain-en-Laye)

Porticato Sotto il Sole (Arcade in the Sun), 1872

Oil on panel, 9.1 x 17.8 cm

Provenance:
Jean Dieterle, Paris
Thence by descent in the Dieterle family

Literature:
Mary Pittaluga and Enrico Piceni, De Nittis, Milan 1963, no. 22
Piero Dini and Giuseppe Luigi Marini, De Nittis. La vita, i documenti, le opere dipinte, catalogue raisonné, Turin 1990, I, p. 375, no. 11; II, repr.

We are grateful to Professor Christine Farese Sperken for examining the work. She has confirmed its authenticity.

 

The study titled Porticato Sotto il Sole [Arcade in the Sun] was very probably executed at about the same time as the preliminary study for La Strada di Brindisi. The dimensions of the two panels are the same, and they also match the dimensions of the three studies of harbor and coastal views discussed below.

It is illuminating to reflect on the provenance of this remarkable group of oil studies: they were all at one time owned by the noted Paris collector Jean Dieterle.[1] In this connection, Enrico Piceni, the De Nittis expert, collector and critic, has noted: Scholars researching the work of De Nittis will find the collection of Jean Dieterle particularly interesting. The collection has probably been dispersed in the meantime. Dieterle was a friend of De Nittis’s son, Jacques, from whom he acquired a large number of sketches and drawings. For the most part they were simple, summarily sketched chromatic studies on tiny panels or fragments of canvas.[2]

La Masseria

Fig. 1 Giuseppe De Nittis, La Masseria [The Farm], oil on canvas, 7.4 x 10 cm, Dini and Marini no. 7, private collection

Porticato Sotto il Sole, like Vesuvius, was a subject which De Nittis returned to again and again, producing multiple variants and versions of it. Like La Strada di Brindisi, the present study was probably executed in Apulia, perhaps near Barletta. There are a number of parallels with the three recorded versions[3] of La Masseria [The Farm] (Fig. 1), but although the study is a highly condensed image composed in close-up perspective, where only the arcade, and the silhouettes of a few animals and figures are defined, it clearly relates to a different pictorial concept.


[1] Jean Dieterle and the Dieterle family: Martin Dieterle is a fifth-generation Corot expert. His great-great-grandfather, Jules Dieterle, was one of Corot’s closest associates. His great-grandfather, Charles Dieterle, spent a decade in Corot’s atelier as a student and factotum. Charles’s wife, Marie Dieterle, was a successful landscape and animal painter. She was also a close friend of Corot. Martin Dieterle’s grandfather, Jean Dieterle, annotated the catalogue raisonné of Corot’s work. He was a friend of De Nittis’s son, Jacques. Jean Dieterle’s father, Pierre Dieterle, was also a leading Corot scholar. See <http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt867nc9vn/entire_text/> (accessed 30.1.2017).

[2] Enrico Piceni, De Nittis, Milan 1955, p. 178.

[3] Piero Dini and Giuseppe Luigi Marini, De Nittis. La vita, i documenti, le opere dipinte, catalogue raisonné, Turin 1990, nos. 5-7.

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