(Weimar 1821 - Weimar 1907)
View over the South Coast of Capri, Looking towards Monte Solaro
Signed C Hummel at the lower left.
426 x 336 mm. (16 3/4 x 13 1/4 in.)
At the time of Hummel’s visit to Capri, set in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the island was beginning to be discovered by foreign artists. As one modern scholar has noted, ‘Capri had become popular in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, when rugged nature alone, rather than landscapes with ruins or landscapes with allusions to past art became, for the first time, desirable subjects for the artist’s brush...The island, though an established part of the tourist route by the 1850s, was not easily reached even a decade later...Capri also lacked the amenities desired by most tourists. It had just one hotel; the local population of 5,000 were all either farmers or fisherfolk; and for transportation around the island, a donkey was recommended.’ By the last quarter of the 19th century, howver, there was a thriving community of European and American artists living and working on the island.
The appeal of Capri to artists is evident in a description of the island’s scenery by another German visitor, writing in c.1853: ‘Nature here guards against monotonous bareness by beauty of line and form; against deadness, by warmth of color; against dryness, by scattered greenness and the ornament of flowering plants. And so she combines all these peculiar features, - bare wastes, ruins, sharp peaks, all forms of monotony and nakedness in miniature, - and of the whole forms an enchanting picture…Mountains, cliffs, and valleys affect the mind as if by a secret charm; they form, as it were, the cell of a recluse, through the lattice of which is seen the most beautiful bay in the world; and this is again held embraced by silent, dreamy shores, and so it is, in truth, a magic ring by which you are encircled.’
A large pencil drawing by Hummel of a view near the town of Anacapri, signed and dated 1876, appeared at auction in Germany in 2013.