Gaspar van Wittel, called Vanvitelli, Amersfoort 1652/1653 - 1736 Rome

  • Gaspar van Wittel, called Vanvitelli

    Amersfoort 1652/1653 - 1736 Rome

After training in his native Amersfoort, Gaspar van Wittel, better known by his Italian moniker Vanvitelli, spent most of his life in and around Rome after settling there around 1675. He is considered one of the fathers of Italian vedute, or panoramic view paintings based on real places. Combining the faithful description of his surroundings, based in part on his Northern training, with anecdotal quotidian events, he was hugely successful. Religious sites and antique ruins were often replaced in his work by views never before depicted, showing the reality of modern Rome—everyday places or ancient sites which were still in use were among his favoured settings. Vanvitelli’s inimitable sense of the warm Italian sunlight added a further allure and grand romanticism to these scenes of daily life.


Gaspar van Wittel, called Vanvitelli
Amersfoort 1652/1653–1736 Rome
Messina from the Sea, with the Church of Santa Maria della Grotta, c. 1720
Oil on canvas
66.5 x 173.3 cm (26 1/8 x 68 1/4 in.)