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Justus Krauskopf

(1787–1869, Kassel)

View of Olevano. Watercolour over pencil, framing line in pen and black ink, on the original mount. 21.7 x 31.6 cm. Inscribed and dated “Olevano ... d. 21/3 [18]34 vom Casino [Baldi?].” at the bottom left, other descriptions of the surrounding places and mountains in pencil in the artist’s own hand, “No 74“ inserted in pen and black ink at the top right.

Born in Kassel, the painter and printmaker, Justus Krauskopf, was apprenticed in Paris to none other than Jacques-Louis David. In 1833/34 Krauskopf undertook the mandatory trip to Italy, where the present sensitively and reverently observed watercolour arose. It was inevitable that the artist should have visited the mountain village of Olevano in the Sabine Hills during his stay. It was a day’s march from Rome and a must for German and foreign artists to see following its discovery by Josef Anton Koch.

Krauskopf demonstrates great concentration and a degree of restraint almost in portraying the picturesque assortment of medieval houses and the imposing backdrop of the Alban Hills. The peaceful landscape is bathed in the delicate silvery light of the early evening. Krauskopf’s watercolour technique radiates freshness and spontaneity and is devoid of any vanity or false virtuosity. The watercolour probably served as a preparatory study for a painting. The artist has noted the names of various places in very small writing in the sky

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