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First retrospective of the work of Franz Ludwig Catel on view at the Hamburger Kunsthalle
Franz Ludwig Catel (1778–1856), Kronprinz Ludwig in der spanischen Weinschänke zu Rom, 1824. Öl auf Leinwand, 63,2 x 75,5 cm. München, Bayerische Staatsgemälde-sammlungen, Neue Pinakothek © München, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Neue Pinakothek / Wittelsbacher Ausgleichsfonds, München / bpk.

HAMBURG.- The Hamburger Kunsthalle is presenting the first retrospective of the work of Franz Ludwig Catel (1778–1856), one of the most popular landscape painters of his day. The German artist’s views of Rome and his atmospheric depictions of Naples, Mount Vesuvius and the Amalfi Coast continue to shape our vision of southern Italy. Blending naturalistic representation with picturesque scenes of Italian country life, Catel developed a unique style of Romantic landscape painting. The exhibition traces his artistic development from his early days as a draughtsman and illustrator in Berlin and Paris to his successful career as a landscape painter in Rome and Naples.

Destination Rome! Generations of artists were attracted by the Italian capital and its impressive surroundings. Italy was regarded as a land of longing, associated with the culture of antiquity, a sense of timelessness and a carefree existence. For many artists, experiencing the grandeur of the mountains as they crossed the Alps, addressing themes of classical antiquity and capturing the intense light of the south were crucial aspects of their creative development. Franz Ludwig Catel was similarly inspired. In 1811, after many years of academic training and study in Berlin, Dresden and Paris, he settled in Rome and went on to become a leading figure in the city’s artistic community. Catel’s atmospheric landscapes, which often incorporate picturesque genre subjects, proved extremely popular and gained him numerous commissions from international clients.

Catel’s oeuvre is today scattered across the globe in a large number of museums and private collections. For this major exhibition, the Hamburger Kunsthalle has gathered together around 200 paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints. Drawn from over 50 international collections, the exhibits include numerous works that until only recently were unknown to the scholarly world.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive catalogue featuring incisive essays and an annotated list of the works on show (about 500 pages und about 600 colour images). It is available from the museum shops.

Curator: Dr Andreas Stolzenburg; curatorial Assistance: Neela Struck

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