GASPAR VAN WITTEL known as VANVITELLI
Amersfoort 1652/53-Rome 1736
View of Castle of Saint Angel in Rome
oil on canvas, 36.5×50.5 cm
This picturesque view immortalizes one of the most representative and famous buildings in Rome, the Castel Sant’Angelo, seen from the oppose bank of the Tiber in the point where it is crossed by the old bridge of Saint Angel, crowned by statues by Bernini; Saint Peter’s and the buildings of the Vatican are visible in the background. The day is drawing to a close, and the figures animating the stage are struck by a grazing light that projects long shades on the ground. This fascinating view has been attributed by Giancarlo Sestieri to the early stages of the career of Gaspar van Wittel, to whom the initials (GvW) on a barrel in the lower central area of the canvas refer. The famous landscape painter received his first education in his native country, where he studied with Mathias Withoos (1627-1703). After arriving in Rome in 1674, he began his activity as a landscape painter around the Eighties. According to the expert, the painting subject of this study belongs to the painter’s first phase, and is ‘ in perfect harmony with the Panoramic view of Rome from the Trinity of the Mountains […] in the Colonna collection and with the View of Rome with the Ponte rotto and the Aventine in the background found at the Museum of Palazzo Braschi, dated respectively 1681 and 1685.
The work has been exhibited in the show Highlights, Internazionale Kunstmesse München, (October 21-30, 2011) and appears in the relative catalogue published by the Cesare Lampronti Gallery, curated by V. Becchetti, Gaspar van Wittel called Vanvitelli, Rome, 2011, pages 30-31.