Franz Knebel - Landscape with the Waterfalls of Tivoli
Landscape with the Waterfalls of Tivoli
Oil on canvas (relined). 100.5 x 163.5 cm.
Signed and dated lower right: F Knebel fec Roma 1871.
This panoramic landscape by the Swiss painter Franz Knebel (Charles-François Knébel) depicts a natural phenomenon that was one of the most popular sights of the so-called Grand Tour, made by members of the European aristocracy and upper middle classes in the 18th and 19th centuries. Tivoli's romantic surroundings with its waterfalls and ancient ruins also attracted numerous artists, from Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich, called Dietricy, to Johann Wilhelm Schirmer and Oswald Achenbach.
Knebel depicts the sublime landscape of the town on the western slopes of Mount Tiburtini in a hazy atmosphere with strong sfumato. The figures and goats in the foreground give the scene a pastoral air, alluding to a simpler, happier life beneath the southern sun. Knebel began painting topographical scenes upon moving to Rome and joining François Kaiserman's studio on the Piazza di Spagna, which he took over following Kaisermann's death in 1833.