Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

Italy

1843 Daniel Huntington Born: New York, New York 1816 Died: New York, New York 1906 oil on canvas 38 5/8 x 29 1/8 in. (98.1 x 74.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1973.41 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

Daniel Huntington made many trips to Italy, where he was fascinated by the classical art and architecture. Many nineteenth-century American artists traveled to Italy to study the country's rich cultural history and to sharpen their skills as painters and sculptors. In this painting, Huntington personified Italy as a young woman holding a sketchbook and paintbrush. The distant ruins to the left of the image symbolize the country's rich past, while the Tuscan bell tower on the right represents the continuing influence of Catholicism. Female painters were rare during the nineteenth century, so perhaps Huntington intended the figure to represent an artist's muse. He painted the girl bathed in warm, yellow light from the sunset, emphasizing his romantic, idealized view of Italy.

Keywords

Allegory - place - Italy

Architecture - religious - church

Figure female

Figure(s) in exterior - rural

Landscape - water

Occupation - art - artist

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas