Topic: Artist

This painting appears to have the remains of a signature on the gunwale of the boat in the foreground - though little more than a capital N - but perhaps someone can suggest an artist name that might fit. Detail attached.

Pieter van der Merwe, Maritime Subjects, Entry reviewed by Art UK


Jacinto Regalado,

I am not sure there is really a signature on the boat.

Marcie Doran,

Is the work possibly by James Vivien de Fleury (1847-1902)? See “Lake Maggiore” from 1862, on the website of Uno Langmann Limited.

There is the same attention to detail in the figures in both works, and both works include groupings of people in the foreground and near the simple dwelling. Both works feature a grand dwelling elsewhere in the image. In each work the small boat is laden with supplies, and both boats have a similar rower and a similar bow. I have attached two composites.

Osmund Bullock,

This looks much more accomplished than de Fleury, at least most of it - look, for example, at the completely different (and far more skilled) way the tree's foliage is depicted by the artist of this work. Some of the detail is less impressive, though - has it been over-cleaned? As for the similarities suggested, they could apply to myriad depictions of the Italian lakes by dozens of other artists.

(whose first names were actually John Victor, as I'm exploring on another discussion

Osmund Bullock,

Sorry, that last bit was a remnant from an earlier draft. I *am* exploring de Fleury elsewhere...but that's another story, and I didn't want to dwell on him here.

Osmund Bullock,

Although I still find the work by J V de Fleury offered by Marcie above as a comparison unconvincing, I have now looked at a lot more of his paintings while working on the other discussion. Some of them are much more skilled, and on reflection I don't rule him out. But what I said about numerous other good C19th artists who painted the Italian lakes still stands - and de Fleury does seem to have been a conscientious signer of his work.

Malcolm Fowles,

Osmund, "Some of them are much more skilled ..." may point to Miss Jane Vivian (de Fleury) as in the other discussion you refer to.

Alison Golding,

With apologies to the collection, are we sure this is Lake Como? A sheer cliff down to the water is atypical of Lake Como geography and I have been unable to find any images matching the building and cliff on the right side of the painting. I would have thought that this dramatic part of the image, if belonging to a place that generates so many images, would be replicated many times.

The rest of the image is pretty generic, although the mountain range in the distance does look convincingly alpine.

Marcie Doran,

I agree with you, Alison. However, is it possible that the castle was based on Castello di Vezio (with a cliff added)? There is a photo on a Lake Como tourism website that shows it from the same angle as the castle in the painting.

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