View of Vesuvius

1862
Oil on paper glued to canvas
H. 12,5cm x W. 31cm

Henner’s stay at the Villa Medici between 1859 and 1864 gave him the opportunity to discover Italy, which at the time was in the process of unification. Between August and October 1862, and again in July 1864, he stayed in the Naples area. He was interested not only in the landscape but also in the ancient ruins found in the region.

In his landscapes, presumably done while there, Henner painted with a light coloured palette which he stopped using later, and did not try to make the scenes picturesque or to create effect. On 12 September 1862, he wrote to his brother Gregory saying: “I was very moved by my first view of Vesuvius, which was smoking.”