(Berlin 1818 - Trieste 1904)
A View of Verona from the Banks of the River Adige, with the Ponte Scaligero
Signed, dated and inscribed B. Fiedler. 1850 / Verona n.d. Natur gez. at the lower left.
Inlaid on an old mount.
232 x 322 mm. (9 1/8 x 12 5/8 in.)
As the Scottish mathematician and traveller William Archibald Cadell, writing in 1820, described Verona, ‘The river Adige, which rises in the Tyrol, and has its course to the east of the Lake di Garda, runs through and nearly surrounds the principal part of the town by its winding course. The Ponte del Castel Vecchio, a bridge of three arches built over this river in 1354, in the reign of Can Grande II, is remarkable for the extent of one of its arches, which is 157 English feet in span. This bridge communicates with the castle; it is narrow, and was part of the old fortifications, and is not used for the passage of the public road.’ As another 19th century writer noted, ‘The main arch of the bridge is said to be 160 ft. wide, and instead of being in the centre, it is on the side next to the castle, and from it the other arches slope away to the north bank, in a strange down-hill kind of way.’ A third contemporary author adds that ‘The Veronese were always proud of their old bridge, whose largest arch, not in the centre, but on one side, they boast is larger than that of the Rialto.’
Later trips took the artist to Turkey, Egypt, Palestine and the Near East, and these travels resulted in a number of charming paintings of Orientalist views and genre subjects; works for which he is best known today. Fiedler visited Egypt at least four times - in 1853, 1855, 1864-1865 and 1882 - and painted numerous views of Cairo, Giza and such sites along the Nile as Luxor, Thebes and Aswan. (He also contributed illustrations for the German Egyptologist Georg Ebers’s book Aegypten in Wort und Bild, published in 1879.) Among the artist’s important commissions was the decoration of the castle of Miramare, on the Gulf of Trieste, built for the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian between 1856 and 1860. Paintings by Fiedler are today in museums in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Vienna and Trieste, while a large alpine landscape, dated 1845, is in the Royal Collection at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.