Located in the Mediterrean Sea, south of Rome, the island of Capri has been famous since Roman times for its spectacular scenery and mild climate. In the 19th century it became the home of many European nobles, and attracted artists from across the continent. Here Benouville captured the beauty of the island's rocky coastline, focusing his attention on a path leading toward the city of Capri and past the rocky outcropping of Monte Solaro. Fascinated by the Italian landscape, Benouville spent years in Italy drawing and painting the countryside. From 1838 to 1845 he made at least three trips there, and in 1845, after winning the Prix de Rome—a fellowship allowing promising artists to study in that city—he spent much of the next 25 years in Italy. Although trained to paint landscapes in a very formal manner, after leaving France Benouville began to paint his subjects with a much more personal, nontraditional approach. This may account for this picture's unusual composition, in which much of the canvas is given to indistinct but beautifully painted stone, sky, and water.

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  • Title: Capri
  • Creator: Jean Achille Benouville (French, 1815-1891)
  • Date Created: c. 1845
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 43 x 60 x 6 cm (16 15/16 x 23 5/8 x 2 3/8 in.); Unframed: 28.1 x 44.7 cm (11 1/16 x 17 5/8 in.)
  • Provenance: Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London, 1979. Purchased by the CMA on 30 January 1980.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1980.5
  • Medium: oil on fabric
  • Inscriptions: Signed lower right: Achille Benouville
  • Fun Fact: A pair of figures rest on the right side of the composition—both in white garments, taking in the refreshing scent of the sea air.
  • Department: Modern European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: France, 19th century
  • Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
  • Collection: Mod Euro - Painting 1800-1960
  • Accession Number: 1980.5

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