Schinkel in Naples (1824) by Franz Ludwig CatelAlte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
It's a fact – you just look better when you're travelling. Maybe it's the sun on your face, maybe it's the carefree doing nothing or the backdrop of palms, pools and pyramids – beauty rubbing off on you.
If you want a photo that makes you look really good, pick one from holiday!
Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841) could not take a photo back in his days. Instead he got his mate, the painter Franz Ludwig Catel, to paint him on one of his trips to Italy.
So there he sits, laid back by an open window, the sunlight on his face ...
... a view over the sea all the way to Capri.
Back then, Italy was right at the top of the bucket list for travellers. Even as a schoolboy Schinkel dreamed of travelling to Italy, and when he was 22 he finally set out with a friend.
Travelling marks you for life! Without Schinkel in Italy Berlin wouldn’t look the way it does. The buildings of the later architect shape the city until today. On the Italian journey, where this picture was painted, he was designing his buildings for the Museum Island in Berlin.
The decoration at the left edge of the painting (high-end art) later found its way into the Berlin Collection of Classical Antiquities.
Back in Berlin it took Schinkel a while to get Italy out of his head. But instead of feasting on pasta and Chianti he handled his wanderlust his way: He modelled the pavilion in the Charlottenburg Palace park on the Casino Reale in Naples, where we can see him here, so dreamily sitting. Sometimes travel doesn’t just improve the traveller.
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz