• Cabinet d'un Amateur Européen auction at Christies

    Sale 7822

    Cabinet d'un Amateur Européen

    9 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 352

    Rudolph Von Alt (Austrian, 1812-1905)

    View of Vienna from the Prater


    Rudolph Von Alt (Austrian, 1812-1905)
    View of Vienna from the Prater
    signed and dated 'Rudolf Alt 1834' (lower left)
    pencil and watercolour on paper
    11 1/8 x 15¾ in (28.3 x 40 cm.)

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    In 1833 Rudolph Alt travelled with his father Jacob (1789-1872) for the second time to Italy (the first time was in 1828): 'In the year 33 I saw the Italian cities Verona, Vicenza, Padua and Venice for the first time - I cannot describe what an impression particularly the latter made on me - I felt I had to absorb its whole romanticism' (Catalogue of the Exh. 'Rudolf von Alt', Albertina, Vienna, 1984, p. 39). Father and son's collaboration developed into close teamwork. Rudolph, also called the 'Viennese Canaletto', was a virtuoso watercolourist. The present watercolour conveys the lasting impression which the light and colours of Venice made on him, without losing the clarity and exactness of his personal style.
    A compositional predecessor to the present work is 'View from the Kapuzinerberg of Salzburg' of 1830 ('Blick vom Kapuzinerberg auf Salzburg', Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, inv. n 45.179). It is a view from a slope with figures in a grassy field among low trees and bushes in the foreground, overlooking the river Salach and Salzburg beyond. A later related watercolour is 'View of Wien from Krapfenwald' of 1870 ('Blick auf Wien vom Krapfenwald', Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, inv. n 45.594) where Vienna is overlooked from a vineyard on the opposite side of the city. The vibrancy of the colours of our work are, however, dulled in this later work, which emphasizes the architectural features in the watercolour.

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    Private collection, Vienna.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 13 October 1994, lot 44, where acquired by the present owner.