Oswald Achenbach - A Sunset in Campania
A Sunset in Campania
Oil on canvas. 73.5 x 101 cm.
Signed lower right: Osw Achenbach.
With his views of Italian cities and landscapes, Oswald Achenbach advanced to become one of the most important German landscape painters of the late 19th century. The artist was primarily interested in the atmosphere and effects of southern light, which he was able to masterfully capture at almost any time of day in an intense and often glowing palette - from the pale moonlight to the clear light of morning, the flickering colours of a hot summer day to the last rays of the evening sun as in this painting.
Whilst the horizon still shines in violet hues, the path taking up almost the entire lower edge of the painting is already bathed in cool evening shadow. Oswald Achenbach's Italian landscapes are part of a long tradition of German yearning for the southern peninsula. The loosely painted figures in the present work present a perfect example of this idealised northern vision of the untouched rural landscapes of Italy and of a simple but happy life beneath the southern sun.