5.04 Album 1845/1852

Zoë De Gray, Vues de mon voyage en Italie 1845, [Europa] 1852

Fa 230-4524 raro VII

This is a private album in which numerous pictures, mostly color prints, are pasted. The title on the first page, “Views of my trip to Italy 1845” is signed “Zoë C.tesse de Gray”, a countess about whom we have no further information. The trip to Italy takes up only a small part of the album with 19 sheets, and is followed by “Voyage de Caroline en 1852 – juillet et août” with views of France, Switzerland, and Belgium. Among the views from Italy, Naples occupies a large space. The images here are not just prints, but also gouaches. The series starts with a night view over the city from Posillipo with the fire-breathing Vesuvius as an eye-catcher. The traveler may not have seen the mountain this way in 1845, but there were several eruptions in the early nineteenth century (1822, 1834, 1839). The three vedute themed on Vesuvius testify to the great fascination the phenomenon held for travelers to Italy, which prompted the production of serial gouaches for sale. One sheet was cut out of the section dedicated to Naples, a sign of the popularity of such views for sale as individual sheets on the antiques market. [PH]

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