Frans Vervloet - Twelve Views of Pompei
Twelve Views of Pompei
Oil on panel. Each 12 x 17.2 cm.
All signed and dated 1824-1825.
These “Twelve views of Pompei” are of historical importance in the life and the œuvre of Frans Vervloet. The set was begun the year the painter moved to Naples. Inlaid in their original dark black mounting boards, the two paintings are singular in his production.
Vervloet writes about these paintings in his journal : [entre14 et 23 avril 1825], terminé la collection de m. Vellemant (sic) composé de 12 vues de Pompei. The artist appears to have been a friend of the Ghent architect Jacques Velleman (1802-1866) a fellow countryman, whom he mentions several times in his diary and who bought the paintings in Naples during his Grand Tour. In the early 19th Century, the city attracted travellers for two features: The geological phenomena of Mount Vesuvius and the classical ruins of Pompei. Hence, most of the small views made by Neapolitan artists at that time were executed for the tourist market.
The views are precisely arranged in the order indicated by the numbers 1 to 6 and the letters a to f. Each of them is animated by small figures, visitors walking alongside the streets, a farmer with his donkey and another with a cart pulled by an ox, lovers in the shadow of a house and a painter at work (possibly a self-portrait?) The two paintings by Vervloet clearly belong to the early years of the so-called Posillipo School and testify to his ability as landscapist: A skill he was to develop throughout his career.