Oswald Achenbach - Evening Mood in the Park of the Villa Borghese with a View of Saint Peter's
Evening Mood in the Park of the Villa Borghese with a View of Saint Peter's
Oil on canvas. 120 x 151 cm.
Signed and dated lower centre: O. Achenbach 1896.
Labelled to the reverse: O. Achenbach Peterskirche
The extensive park of the Villa Borghese in Rome with its famous Pincio viewing platform and Fountain of Venus has offered one of the most beloved views of the Eternal City with Michelangelo's Dome of Saint Peter's to this day. Oswald Achenbach depicts the gardens in the early evening. Deep violet, green, and grey tones with hints of black evoke the approaching darkness whilst the last rays of the sun cast their dying light over the city panorama. A handful of visitors linger to enjoy the view seated on benches or standing by the balustrade. Oswald Achenbach was the greatest master of the Roman veduta of his era, but also the greatest painter of evening and night scenes, as proven once again by the present canvas.
Throughout his life, Achenbach took no fewer than seven trips to Italy. The last with his wife and youngest daughter Ceacilie in 1895 led him to Rome. He painted this work in Düsseldorf the following year shortly before the death of his wife Julie in December 1896 - six weeks before his 70th birthday. He painted at least two further evening scenes in that year, his "Nächstliche Straßenszene auf der Via di Marinello in Neapel" (Düsseldorf Kunstmuseum) and "Abendliche Straße bei Neapel" (Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz).
Joseph Peiffer, Kunstsachverständiger der Industrie- und Handelskammer Düsseldor, 25.01.71 (as a copy).
Rhenish private collection.