Vincenzo Camuccini (Italian, 1771-1844)
Self Portrait of the Artist with his Wife in a Neoclassical Interior
and View of the Italian Countryside in the Distance
Oil on panel
17 3/8 x 13 ½ inches
22 ¼ x 18 ¾ inches in period frame
Retains remnant of an old label:
Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA:
Vincenzo Camuccini is widely regarded as the pre-eminent Italian Neo-Classical painter. Based in Rome, Camuccini became a member of Academy of St. Luke in 1802 and quickly rose to headship in 1805. By 1803 Camuccini was working for the Vatican and became the Superintendent of Vatican Picture Galleries, later the Inspector of Public Paintings for Rome and the Papal States and a trusted advisor to Pope Pius VII.
Talent and connections allowed the artist's career to flourish. His affiliation with the Vatican enabled Camuccini to secure many important commissions from European royals and dignitaries (among them Napoleon) which included historical and religious subjects as well as portraits. His brother, an important art dealer, also secured the patronage of English aristocrats on their Grand Tours for Vincenzo.
In Self Portrait of the Artist and his Wife which Camuccini painted between 1805 and 1815, the artist references the work of Italian Renaissance painters. Although his wife is portrayed in fashionable Empire attire and seated on an Empire daybed, the view out the window into the Italian Campania recalls the Renaissance portraiture that the artist found so inspirational.