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View of Bridge and the Town of Cava, Kingdom of Naples
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Anonymous gift in honor of John Walsh

Jean Joseph-Xavier Bidauld
French, Naples, Italy, 1785 - 1790
Oil on paper laid down on canvas
8 1/16 x 10 13/16 in.
2001.55

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Jean Joseph-Xavier Bidauld painted this landscape while on a five-year sojourn in Italy, where he developed his distinct style by making studies directly from nature. This southern Italian view encompasses many features common in his work; a stretch of fertile terrain, picturesque architecture, a source of water, and a majestic, craggy mountain in the distance. Silvery morning light dances across the undulating planes, rendered in soft blues, greens, and browns, and highlighted with autumnal yellows. The extraordinary freshness and precision that characterizes this painting conveys the immediacy of nature's impression on Bidauld, and explains why, upon hearing his name, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was moved to exclaim: "Bidauld! Ah! But gently, now, he wasn't just anybody, he was at times truly a master, and one of the finest. Certain of his small canvases are masterpieces, and full of fine example and sound counsel for all of us, young and old alike."