About This Artwork

Pierre-Jacques Volaire
French, 1729–c.1790–1800

The Eruption of Vesuvius, 1771

Oil on canvas
46 x 95 5/8 in. (116.8 x 242.9 cm)
Inscribed bottom left: Vue de l'Eruption / du mont Vesuve du 14 / may 1771 peinte Sur le / lieu par le Che Volaire.

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection, 1978.426

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Detroit Institute of Arts and Art Institute of Chicago, "The Golden Age of Naples: Art and Civilization under the Bourbons, 1734–1805," 11 August–1 November 1981, 16 January–8 March 1982, no. 76.

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, "Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe," from May 9-July 30, 2017; traveled to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota from September 10-December 31, 2017, finally at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio from February 25-May 20, 2018, fig. 178.

Publication History

Ingvar Berström, "Nagra Vesuvius-Bilder Fran 1700-Talet, Apropos ett Okänt Verk av Jacques Volaire," in Festskrift tillägnad Axel Boëthius, July 18, 1949 (Gothenburg, 1949), pp. 15–29, fig. 1.

Jacques Foucart in Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, De David à Delacroix: La Peinture française de 1774 à 1830, exh. cat., 1974, p. 668, under no. 203.

Benedict Nicolson, "Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions: General," Burlington Magazine 118 (1976), p. 40, fig. 39.

Marina Causa Picone, "Volaire," Antologia di belle arti 2, no. 5 (1978), p. 38.

Madeline Pinault in Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, La Révolution française et l’Europe, 1789–1799, exh. cat., 1989, p. 220, under no. 309.

Fifty Paintings, 1535–1825: To Celebrate Ten Years of Collaboration between the Matthiesen Gallery, London, and Stair Sainty Matthiesen, New York (London and New York, 1993), p. 170.

Susan Wise in Susan Wise and Malcolm Warner, French and British Paintings from 1600 to 1800 in The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1996), pp. 156–59 (ill.).

Didier Aaron, "15: Pierre-Jacques Volaire," Catalogue, (Archieve D'Imprimer en Aout, 2006.

Peter Björn Kerber, Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe, exh. cat. (J. P. Getty Museum, 2017), p. 156, fig. 178, 158-159, 219, 242.

Ownership History

London art market [according to 1981 letter from Ingvar Bergström in curatorial file]. Gunnar Trägårdh, Gothenburg, Sweden [according to Bergström letter cited above]. Sold by Trägårdh to Dr. Sven Langert, Gothenburg, Sweden, in the 1930s; sold by his wife, Majken Langert, Christie’s, London, 26 November 1971, no. 85, to Ray Perman acting on behalf of Cyril Humphris and Herner Wengraf, London [according to Bergström letter cited above]. Sold Sotheby’s, London, 19 April 1978, no. 156 (ill.), to P. and D. Colnaghi and Co., London [letter from Magdalen Elwes, Colnaghi, 7 September 1983, in curatorial file]; sold by Colnaghi to Richard L. Feigen and Co., New York, 1978 [letter from Elaine Banks, Feigen, 6 October 1983, in curatorial file]; sold to the Art Institute, 1978.

View mobile website