The J. Paul Getty Museum

View of Civitavecchia with the Harbor Wall

Object Details


View of Civitavecchia with the Harbor Wall


Pieter Moninckx (Dutch, 1606 - 1686)




Italy (Place Created)


about 1660


Watercolor over pen and gray ink

Object Number:



18.1 × 34.3 cm (7 1/8 × 13 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

Beneath a cloudless sky, the bright Mediterranean sun transforms Civitavecchia, the port of Rome, into a diaphanous jewel. Beyond the strong horizontal of the harbor wall, buildings of varying heights create a dynamic skyline. On the darker, earthy outcropping in the foreground, a woman and child observe a small group of men and horses moving toward the Tyrrhenian Sea. The water is dotted with boats and its pale blue coloration reappears in the hazy green-blue mountains in the far distance.

Most Dutch visitors to Italy arrived at Civitavecchia and the port was beloved by artist-travelers. This view is one of a small series of Italian cities, including Rome and Pisa, that Pieter Moninckx produced during the 1660s and 1670s. Like many Italianates, Moninckx worked both from nature and from his imagination, but the topographic accuracy of this scene suggests that it was made on the spot.


Fürst Leopold I von Anhalt-Dessau, German, 1676 - 1747, by inheritance to his heirs.

1747 - 1927

Leopold Family [sold, Henrici, Berlin, March 22-24, 1927.]

- 2004

Galerie Arnoldi-Livie, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2004.

Paper Art: Finished Drawings in Holland 1590-1800 (September 6 to November 20, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 6 to November 20, 2005
The Lure of Italy: Artists' Views (May 9 to July 30, 2017)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 9 to July 30, 2017

Schatborn, Peter. Drawn to Warmth: Seventeenth-century Dutch Artists in Italy, exh. cat. (Zwolle: Rijksmuseum, with Waanders, 2001), pp.163-164, fig. C.

Brooks, Julian. The Lure of Italy: Artist's Views, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2017), pp. 3-5, 79, fig. 3.