View of Gaiola

Object Details


View of Gaiola


Pierre-Jacques Volaire (French, 1729 - 1799)




1770 to 1790


Oil on canvas


66 × 95.9 cm (26 × 37 3/4 in.)

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Pierre-Jacques Volaire's sensitivity to detail enriches this study of a "modern" villa built on the site of ancient Roman ruins. Volaire's scene recalls the fête galante, a fanciful vision of well-dressed men and women enjoying themselves in the open air popularized by Antoine Watteau earlier in the century. Volaire's fluent execution and lyricism fit his subject's romantic, light-hearted subject. The groups of figures are differentiated by subtle variations, from silhouetting the figures in the boat on the left to illuminating the fishmongers and their customers in the center.

By the time he painted this picture, Volaire, who settled in Naples in 1769, had become a one-man assembly line for paintings of Mount Vesuvius in moonlight. These theatrical works exemplified the eighteenth century's fascination with the sublime: a noble and lofty feeling of awe inspired by natural phenomena.

- 1954

Gerald Roberts Reitlinger, 1900 - 1978 (London, England) [sold, Reitlinger sale, Sotheby's, London, November 10, 1954, lot 51, to Galerie Cailleux.]

1954 -

Galerie Cailleux

- 1975

Private Collection (Paris, France), sold to Heim Gallery, 1975.


Heim Gallery (Paris) (Paris, France), sold to J. Paul Getty, 1975.

1975 - 1976

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976 (Malibu, California; Sutton Place, Surrey, England), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1976 - 1978

Estate of J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, distributed to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978.

Le Choix de l'Amateur (1975)
  • Heim Gallery (Paris), 1975
Civiltà del '700 a Napoli: 1734 - 1799 (December 1, 1979 to October 1, 1980)
  • Museo e Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte (Naples), December 1, 1979 to October 1, 1980
The Golden Age of Naples: Art and Civilization Under the Bourbons 1734 - 1805 (August 11, 1981 to March 8, 1982)
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit), August 11 to November 1, 1981
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, January 16 to March 8, 1982

Sotheby's, London. Fine Old Master Drawings and Paintings. November 10, 1954, p. 11, no. 51.

Heim Gallery. Le Choix de l'amateur 1975, exh. cat. (Paris: Heim Gallery, 1975), unpaginated, no. 38, ill.

Causa-Picone, Marina. "Volaire." Antologia di belle Arti vol. 5 (March 1978), pp. 34-36, ill.

Causa, Raffaello, et al. Civiltà del '700 a Napoli, 1734-1799, exh. cat. (Naples: Museo del Capodimonte, 1979), p. 342, no. 185.

Litchfield, R. Burr, et al. The Golden Age of Naples: Art and Civilization under the Bourbons 1734-1805, exh. cat. 2 vols. (Detroit: The Detroit Institute of Arts, 1981), vol. 1, p. 209, no. 77, ill., entry by Raffaello Causa.

Pignatti, Terisio, et al. Vedute italiane del '700 in collezioni private italiane, exh. cat. (Venice: Museo Diocesano d'Arte Sacra Sant' Apollonia, 1987), p. 94.

Spinosa, Nicola, and Leonardo Di Mauro. Vedute napoletane del Settecento (Naples: Electa, 1989), pp. 23, 80, 195, no. 102, ill.

Spinosa, Nicola. El arte de la Corte de Nápoles en el siglo XVIII, exh. cat. (Madrid: Museo Arqueológico Nacional, 1990), p. 113.

Cassani, Silvia, et al. All'ombra del Vesuvio: Napoli nella veduta europea dal Quattrocento all'Ottocento, exh. cat. (Naples: Castel Sant'Elmo with Electa, 1990), pp. 217, 432, ill.

Briganti, Giuliano, and Nicola Spinosa. In the Shadow of Vesuvius: View of Naples from Baroque to Romanticism, 1631-1830, exh. cat. Stella Cragie, trans. (London: Accademia Italiana delle Arti e delle Arti Applicate, 1990), p. 136.

Salerno, Luigi. I pittori di vedute in italia (1580-1830) (Rome: Ugo Bozzi, 1991), p. 330.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 132, ill.

Cayeux, Jean de. Le Paysage en France de 1750 à 1815 (Saint Rémy en l'Eau: Editions Monelle Hayot, 1997), p. 34.

Beck-Saiello, Émilie. Le Chevalier Volaire: un peintre français à Naples au XVIIIe siècle (Naples: Centre Jean Bérard with the Institut de France, 2004), pp. 30, 94, 95, n. 95.

Beck-Saiello, Émilie. Pierre Jacques Volaire, 1729-1799 (Paris: Arthena, 2010), p. 220, no. 45, ill. back cover ill.

Beck-Saiello, Émilie. Napoli e la francia: i pittori di paesaggio da Vernet a Valenciennes (Rome: Bretschneider, 2010), pp. 62, 134.