View of Gaiola

Pierre-Jacques Volaireabout 1770 - 1790

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Pierre-Jacques Volaire's sensitivity to detail enriches this study of a "modern" villa built on the site of ancient Roman ruins. Volaire's scene recalls the fête galante, a fanciful vision of well-dressed men and women enjoying themselves in the open air popularized by Antoine Watteau earlier in the century. Volaire's fluent execution and lyricism fit his subject's romantic, light-hearted subject. The groups of figures are differentiated by subtle variations, from silhouetting the figures in the boat on the left to illuminating the fishmongers and their customers in the center.

By the time he painted this picture, Volaire, who settled in Naples in 1769, had become a one-man assembly line for paintings of Mount Vesuvius in moonlight. These theatrical works exemplified the eighteenth century's fascination with the sublime: a noble and lofty feeling of awe inspired by natural phenomena.

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  • Title: View of Gaiola
  • Creator: Pierre-Jacques Volaire
  • Date: about 1770 - 1790
  • Physical Dimensions: 66 x 95.9 cm (26 x 37 3/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Signature: Signed, bottom center: "le Che Volaire f" ["Che" for Chevalier]
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 78.PA.234
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S111
  • Department: Paintings
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Paintings