Clarkson Frederick Stanfield Distant View of Vesuvius, by Sunset. Verso: Sketch of Mountain Tops, or Cliffs and Rocks 1839

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Artwork details

Title
Distant View of Vesuvius, by Sunset. Verso: Sketch of Mountain Tops, or Cliffs and Rocks
Date 1839
Medium Watercolour and gouache on paper. Verso: pastel on paper
Dimensions Support: 128 x 177 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
Reference
T08223
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Stanfield was seen as Turner’s only rival in marine subjects. By this date (1839) his more highly-finished oil paintings were more popular than Turner’s more atmospheric works, which baffled many people.

This watercolour observation of a plume of smoke rising from Mount Vesuvius being caught by the setting sun shows Stanfield at his most informal and spontaneous. It may help explain why Ruskin emphasised his particular excellence in the treatment of clouds.

September 2004

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