Eruption of Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples at Night
Charles François Lacroix de Marseille (1700-1782)

Eruption of Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples at Night, 1770

Oil on canvas, H. 0.28 m; W. 0.41 m

Signed and dated lower left: de Lacroix / 1770.

Provenance: Private collection, Paris.

Lacroix de Marseille, painter of landscapes and marines, is the most well known artist of Joseph Vernet’s circle. Is he the pupil of Joseph Vernet or were they both pupils of painter Adrien Manglard in Rome?

His first known picture is dated 1743. By 1750 he settles down in Italy and his nickname becomes Della Croce. In 1759 he collaborates with Joseph Vernet on an important commission for the Duke of Parma for the castle of Colorno.

He works in Naples for about ten years and then, in 1776, he exhibits in Paris at the Salon du Colisée; later, in 1780 and 1782, his works are exhibited in the Salon de la Correspondance. One of the artist’s contemporaries mentions his death in Berlin in 1782.

This painter is well known for his sense of colour and composition. By the care brought to every detail and the sophisticated sense of light, our painting can be considered as one of the best works of the artist at his full maturity.