Vesuvius and Pompeii

Media - 1983.95.177 - SAAM-1983.95.177_2 - 135152
Copied Robert S. Duncanson, Vesuvius and Pompeii, 1870, oil on canvas, 1015 58 in. (25.439.7 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Joseph Agostinelli, 1983.95.177
Free to use

Artwork Details

Vesuvius and Pompeii
1015 58 in. (25.439.7 cm.)
lower right in oil: Duncanson/1870 frame verso upper right in felt-tipped pen and ink: J.A. frame verso lower left in felt-tipped pen and ink: Remains of the theatre/at Pompeii, Italy/by R.S. Duncanson frame verso center left in felt-tipped pen an ink: J.A.
Credit Line
Gift of Joseph Agostinelli
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Figure group
  • Exterior
  • Architecture — ruins
  • Landscape — phenomenon — volcano
  • Cityscape — Italy — Pompeii
  • Landscape — mountain — Mount Vesuvius
  • Object — art object — painting
  • Architecture Exterior — classical
Object Number

Artwork Description

Robert S. Duncanson spent a significant amount of time in Italy, and painted several views of Pompeii. Pompeii's dramatic history and the lure of Mount Vesuvius's still violent potential brought many artists to the area in the nineteenth century. This image shows the remains of an amphitheater, with Vesuvius smoking in the background. Duncanson probably painted this scene from memory, placing different ruins together to create a compelling composition.