View of the Gorge at Civita Castellana

1826-7, Attributed to Edouard Bertin

The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission

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The fortified medieval town of Civita Castellana lies fifty-four miles north of Rome on the Via Flaminia, one of the ancient routes through the Roman Campagna. In ancient times, it was a strategically important Etruscan settlement. During the Renaissance the fortress was converted into an imposing octagonal castle known as La Rocca.

The artist uses characteristically thick lines to accentuate the sculptural aspect of the rock formations, while free brushstrokes evoke the texture of the natural surroundings and the fall of light on rocks and greenery.

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