View of the Gulf of Pozzuoli with the Islands of Procida and Ischia, 1841
Oil on canvas, H. 0.55 m; W. 0.36 m
Signed and dated lower right: Bühlmann 1841
Annotated on the verso: Proprietà del Signor Ludovico Schweitzer, Roma 1846
Provenance: Collection Ludwig Schweitzer (purchased directly from the artist in Rome in 1846)
Private collection, Basel
Johann Rudolph Bühlmann initially trained under the landscape painter Jakob Heinrich Reutlinger (1802-1868) in Zurich. He first exhibited a Swiss landscape in 1832, at the Zürcher Künstlergesellschaft and travelled extensively through Switzerland for many months before finally settling in Rome, financed by the silk trader Martin Bodmer. At the end of the 1830s, we find him among the most esteemed Swiss artists in Rome, and mainly the English eagerly bought his felicitous views in oil of Rome, the Campagna, Albano, Ariccia, Tivoli, Naples, Capri, Sicily (…) .
In 1845, twenty-six Swiss artists were living in Rome. Bühlmann shared an apartment with some of them, like Johann Jacob Frey (1813-1865) and the sculptor Salomon Schlöth (1818-1891). He joined the Deutscher Künstlerverein in 1846.
By 1871, Bühlmann had left the Eternal City in which he had lived for thirty-four years and returned to Zurich. There he painted predominantly Italian landscapes and also became a prodigious collector of sixteenth to eighteenth century European works on paper. After his return, he sold a great part of the collection to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich), forming the basis of their collection of prints and drawings .
The painting shows a view of the Gulf of Pozzuoli with the town standing out on the promontory with the islands of Procida and Ischia in the distance. Capturing the final rays of the setting sun, the composition is filled with warm light.