View of the Bay of Naples with an assortment of boats traversing the choppy waters. In the foreground, five Neapolitan fishers go about their tasks in a boat filled with nets and baskets, apparently unperturbed as Mount Vesuvius spouts lava and a plume of ash in the background. Lit by early morning or late afternoon light, the composition is suffused with a delicate, luminous glow from the blue-green sea to the golden haze of the sky.
This print was based on an 1839 painting by Ferdinand Perrot; he produced it as a lithograph in 1840. It is just one of many works Perrot made of maritime scenes in Naples. In 1838, a series of lithographs by Perrot was published under the title of Voyage sur les Côtes d'Italie de Nice à Naples [Voyage Along the Italian Coast, from Nice to Naples]. Indeed, in general Mt. Vesuvius on the Bay of Naples was a popular subject for paintings and prints from the days of the Grand Tour in the late 18th century. Such works were sometimes sold as souvenirs to tourists visiting Italy
Ferdinand Perrot was French painter and lithographer, known for his landscapes and as one of the great French maritime painters of the 19th century. His talent was recognized early, and he completed his first commission, an Assumption of the Virgin, for a local church at the age of 15. He then moved to Paris to study with the maritime painter Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin, and exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1831 until 1844, which was three years after his death. Many of his paintings portray Brittany, the Loire region of France and Mediterranean coastline between the French Riviera and Naples. His works demonstrate a variety of moods and subjects, from peaceful harbors to storms at sea, also numerous depictions of naval battles and historical events such as the explorer Jacques Cartier discovering Canada. He was invited to St. Petersburg by the Russian royal family in 1840 and awarded a large commission of a series of topographical views of Russia and the coast of Finland and ten collections of prints. He also was made a member of the Academy of St. Petersburg. However, he died suddenly in 1841 at the age of 33, having completed only two of the commissioned series. Three views of St. Petersburg painted by Perrot are in the collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
Veuve Turgis, literally "Widow Turgis," was a print publisher in Paris run by Madame Turgis, widow of Louis Turgis. The firm was active from at least 1826 to 1864.
Full publication information: Peint d'apres nature et lith. part Ferdinand Perrot. Paris V've. Turgis éditeur, 10 rue Serpente.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, handling, and wear. Few old restorations of short tears verso. Overall with bright colors and attractive.
Bellier de La Chavignerie, Èmile and Louis Auvray. Dictionnaire général des artistes de l'école française depuis l'origine des arts du dessin jusqu'à nos jours: Architectes, peintres, sculpteurs, graveurs et lithographes, Volume 2. Paris; Renouard, 1885. p. 245. Online at Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=WoXrAAAAMAAJ (12 October 2011).
Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 6, p. 610.
"Dessinateur: Ferdinand Perrot." Voyage Pittoresque: Gravures et Lithographies dans le Comté de Nice et les Alpes-Maritimes du XVIIIe au XIXe Siècle. http://www.gravures-nice.org/index.php?option=com_items&dessinateur=Ferdinand%20Perrot&todo=dessinateur (12 October 2011).
Durieux, Claude. "Perrot, Ferdinand." Antiquaire de Marine. 15 April 2009. http://historic-marine-france.com/gravures/perrot.htm (12 October 2011).