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Charles Temple Dix (1838–1873)

Marina Grande, Capri

APG 8206.01


CHARLES TEMPLE DIX (1838–1873), "Marina Grande, Capri," 1866. Oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 30 1/8 in.
CHARLES TEMPLE DIX (1838–1873), "Marina Grande, Capri," 1866. Oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 30 1/8 in. Showing gilded fluted frame.


Marina Grande, Capri, 1868
Oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 30 1/8 in.
Signed, dated, and inscribed (with monogram, at lower left): CTD / ’66; (on the back): Marina Grande—Capri C. T. Dix / Rome 1866

EXHIBITED: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California, 1981–82, An American Perspective: Nineteenth Century Art from the collection of Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr., pp. 31, 35 fig. 24 illus., 128 illus. // Richard York Gallery, 1989, The Italian Presence in American Art: 1860–1920, no. 15 // Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, Massachusetts, 2012, Italia: The Influence of Italy on American Artists

RECORDED: “At Cahoon: ‘Italia: The Influence of Italy on American Artists,’” Antiques and The Arts Weekly, June 8, 2012, p. 20 illus.

EX COLL.: [Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1980]; to Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr., Los Angeles, California, 1980–82; to [Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York]; to private collection, New York, 1992 until the present

Beginning about 1866, when he first wintered in Rome, Dix painted a number of marine subjects of the island of Capri. The present picture dates from that winter, before Dix’s trip to England and his subsequent marriage and relocation to Rome. Dix evidently traveled to the island, returning to Rome with sketches of its coastal scenery. Located on the northern side of the island, the Marina Grande was the chief port on Capri. Dix frames the composition at right with the large, rocky cliffs characteristic of Capri’s coastline, while the sweep of the water opens to the left. Dix’s use of color is deep and clear, faithfully capturing the incomparable range of blues of the Mediterranean sea and sky. All of the elements of the picture—rocks, clouds, boats, and water—are treated with careful accuracy, reflecting a truth-to-nature aesthetic as espoused by the influential English critic, John Ruskin, and echoing similar concerns with the rocky coast landscape as fellow American marine artist, William Stanley Haseltine. Marina Grande, Capri is remarkable in that the artist was only 28 years old when he painted it, and it leads one to speculate as to what Dix might have accomplished had he enjoyed a longer life and career.

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