Paris 1806 – Rouen 1879
The Castle del’ Ovo and the Borgo Santa Lucia in Naples
Lead pencil on paper.
Signed Justin Ouvrié, inscribed Le château de l’œuf sur le quai de Ste Lucie à Naples and dated le 19 septembre 1832,lower left.
260 x 424 mm – 10 1/4 x 16 11/16 in.
The French landscape and watercolor painter Pierre-Justin Ouvrié studied with Baron Taylor and participated in the Salon from 1831 onwards. A typical traveler artist of the Romanticism, he traveled around France and Europe and showed interest in picturesque landscapes and towns, as well as in ancient monuments, that he painted in oil or watercolor, with a precise but full of feeling style.
At the Paris Salon, Ouvrié exhibited several watercolors representing Borgo Santa Lucia in Naples (in 1833, 1837, 1855), sometimes with the Castle del’ Ovo (1834), which bears testimony for the public’s appreciation of this view. This drawing was made on the motive during a travel and it may have served him afterwards in the studio to execute the painted compositions of the same subject. There is another drawing of Borgo Santa Lucia from a different point of view, in lead pencil signed and dated from the same day 19 September 1832. It prepares a painting of the same view nowadays in the Musée Leblanc-Duvernoy in Auxerre, which shows how Ouvrié prepared his paintings by thin and precise lead pencil studies.
One of the most ancient of Naples’ quarters, Borgo Santa Lucia was a source of inspiration for many artists and became increasingly fashionable in the 19th century. The building of a casino drew a greater number of writers, artists or mere tourists who were seduced by the picturesque character of the place until the 1880’s renovations – the building of an embankment and a port – led to irremediable change. However, more than the picturesque way of Neapolitan life on Borgo Santa Lucia, it is the complex architecture of the neighborhood, built on the waterfront by piling and aggregations, that Ouvrié seems to be most interested in here.