Camuccini family estate, Rome; private collection, Rome.
Giovanni Battista Camuccini was born in 1819 into one of the most prestigious families in the 19th century Italian artistic scene. Son of the major protagonist of Roman Neoclassicism, Vincenzo Camuccini, the young Giovanni Battista was raised in a privileged milieu, surrounded by several artists his father was accustomed to regularly meet, one of them was Pietro, Vincenzo’s brother, and Giovanni Battista’s uncle, who also played a role in the art world as a painter, restorer of Old Master works and dealer of some repute. Giovanni Battista’s role in art history is important not only in an Italian context but also, indeed above all, at the international level, with several of his works now on display in the world's leading museums, including the National Gallery in London and the Metropolitan in New York, as well as in the most prestigious private collections built around en plein air painting.
Taking his cue from the example set by the two greatest masters of en plein air painting, or oil sketching from nature, Pierre Henri de Valenciennes and Thomas Jones, Giovanni Battista Camuccini was the only Italian, along with his master Giambattista Bassi, to have proven capable of sharing in their subjects, their atmospheres, their Romantic choices and their grasp of the study of nature. This rare and substantial nucleus of works is accompanied by a catalogue on the artist produced by the gallery to shine fresh light on the outstanding talent of Giovanni Battista Camuccini, who produced superbly sophisticated views of the Roman countryside and of the area around the Lago di Albano characterised by the warm light of lakeside landscapes, Romantic views capable of vying with the work of the leading international players in the new season of en plein air painting that took hold between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century.