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A medieval castle stands on a hilltop overlooking small buildings, ruins, and olive and cypress trees. This work depicts Massa, a town near Genoa on the northwest coast of Italy. The painting is particularly rich in details: the leaves of the trees shimmer, the buildings' edges are precisely delineated, and the plain clothing worn by peasants in the <term>foreground</term> is carefully described. Leo von Klenze, who is primarily known as the chief architect and head of public works in Munich, was also an accomplished painter. Combining his talent for keen observation with an ability to improve upon nature, Klenze amended this vista of the Italian town by altering the castle's architecture, inserting a Roman aqueduct, and changing the location of the olive trees.

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