Claude-Joseph Vernet – The J. Paul Getty Museum 2002.9.1. Title: A Storm on a Mediterranean Coast. Date: 1767. Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 113 x 145.7 cm. Inscriptions: J. Vernet f 1767 (lower right). Nr.: 2002.9.1. Source: www.getty.edu/art/collections/images/enlarge/14472101.JPG
Materials: oil on panel. Dimensions: 39.4 x 55.9. Nr.: 86.PB.597. Source: http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/images/enlarge/00091501.JPG. P.S. I have changed the light of the original photo.
Bathed in sunlight breaking through the clouds, a rustic sluice, used to regulate water levels and irrigate farmland, sits above a background of productive pastureland. Jacob van Ruisdael, one of the great Dutch landscape painters of the 1600s, explored a range of landscape motifs in his work, including forest scenes, seascapes, beach scenes, and panoramic landscapes. In Bridge with a Sluice, Ruisdael made an ordinary object monumental by making it larger than all the other elements in the painting, thereby calling attention to its use and placement in the countryside. The diagonal movement of the rugged road at the left draws the eye up toward the sluice and then down to the land below. A single figure populates the scene, but the sluice symbolizes the human presence in nature and human attempts to control it (http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=915).
Francesco Guardi – The J. Paul Getty Museum 2005.41. The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Palazzo Bembo (c. 1768)
Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 47 x 76.5 cm. Nr.: 2005.41. Source: http://arthistoryreference.com/s/la/655.jpg. P.S. I have changed the contrast of the original photo.
A luminous morning haze bathes Venice’s Grand Canal. Guided by oarsmen, gondolas and cargo boats glide through the placid water; their hulls traverse the gentle reflections cast by the surrounding buildings. Masts and vertical pilings punctuate the pale, overcast sky. Buildings of varying shapes and scale–but all sharing a muted palette–extend from edge to edge and deep into the distance. On the right, a few early-risers mill about on the banks of the canal.
Francesco Guardi often painted vedute, or views, of Venice’s principal waterway. Many of the buildings in this view were palaces of important Venetian families. The most prominent among them is the two-toned Palazzo Bembo on the canal’s left bank. Its owners, and Guardi’s likely patrons, even appear on the palace’s upper balcony.
Guardi appreciated Venice as a city of constant change rather than as a static tourist destination. On the right side, behind the tiny figures on shore, he depicted the Church of San Geremia in the midst of its renovation. The two-toned facade of the Palazzo Bembo draws attention to a recent addition to this Renaissance palace. Amid this urban transformation, Guardi reveals the transitory effects of weather and water on his life-long home of Venice (http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=266546).
Meindert Hobbema, Abraham Storck – The J. Paul Getty Museum 2002.17. A Wooded Landscape with Travelers on a Path through a Hamlet (ca. 1665).
Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 97.5 x 130.8 cm. Inscriptions: m hobbema (lower left). Nr.: 2002.17. Source: http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/images/enlarge/14513501.JPG. P.S. I have changed the light and contrast of the original photo.
Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 66 x 84.5 cm. Nr.: 82.PA.18. Source: http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/images/enlarge/00081601.JPG. P.S. I have changed the colors, light and contrast of the original photo.
Canaletto – The J. Paul Getty Museum 70.PA.52. View of the Arch of Constantine with the Colosseum (1742-1745)
Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 101.9 x 141.8 cm. Nr.: 70.PA.52. Inscriptions: at left on stone, “Ant° Canaleto fe[t]”. Source: www.getty.edu/art/collections/images/enlarge/00062101.JPG. P.S. I have changed the light, colors and contrast of the original photo.
Bernardo Bellotto – The J. Paul Getty Museum 91.PA.73. View of the Grand Canal and the Dogana (c. 1740)
Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 135.3 x 231 cm. Source: http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/images/enlarge/00099001.JPG. P.S. I have changed the colors and the light of the original photo.
In this architectural record of Venice and the Grand Canal, Bellotto presented a cross-section of Venetian society going about business on a sunny morning. Light from the east falls upon the Palazzo Pisani-Gritti with its arched windows and painted façade. A Venetian devotional box housing various types of religious icons hangs below the arched windows of the building at the left. Such boxes were usually placed on a building right next to the canal so that passers-by could pause for a moment of prayer upon leaving or arriving.
Its image reflected in the canal, the Baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute dominates the right bank. Next to it, behind a shadowy row of houses, stands the Gothic façade of the Abbey of San Gregorio. On the far right is the Dogana or customs building. Gondolas and ferries, modes of transportation still in use today, traverse the water between the two banks. The mouth of the canal, where seafaring vessels leave or enter the city, is visible in the distance (http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=990).
Jacob van Ruisdael – The J. Paul Getty Museum 83.PA.278. Landscape with a Wheatfield (late 1650s – early 1660s)
Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 40 x 45.7 cm. Inscriptions: Signed lower right, “JVRuisdael” (JVR in monogram). Nr.: 83.PA.278. Source: http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/images/enlarge/00083501.JPG
Giovanni Battista Lusieri – The J. Paul Getty Museum 85.GC.281. A View of the Bay of Naples, Looking Southwest from the Pizzofalcone Toward Capo di Posilippo (1791)
Materials: Pen and ink, gouache, and watercolor on six sheets of paper. Dimensions 102 x 272 cm. Nr.: 85.GC.281. Source: www.getty.edu/art/collections/images/enlarge/00089001.JPG
Sir William Hamilton, British envoy to the court of Naples from 1764 to 1800, wanted a painting of the panoramic view of the Bay of Naples from his apartment window. He sought out the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Lusieri, whose detailed drawings and watercolors of views of Naples and other Italian sites were popular with Grand Tourists in the 1780s and 1790s.
Lusieri produced this sweeping view on six sheets of watercolor paper. Its clarity, purity of color, and accuracy of detail led many people to believe that Lusieri used a telescope or camera obscura to record the intricacies, proportion, and perspective of his settings. He was a slow and painstaking draftsman; this drawing is one of his few important, completely finished works. He proceeded slowly, first drawing the entire scene in outline down to the smallest detail with a faint but hard pencil and then finishing and coloring the work on location, rather than in a studio. An English tourist wrote of Lusieri: “As an artist he was always slow in deliberation; but it was the tardiness of the most scrupulous accuracy; for he frequently laid on even his colours on the spot…”(http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=890).