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Jean Joseph Xavier Bidauld, A View of Tivoli Cascade

Key facts
Full title A View of Tivoli Cascade
Artist Jean Joseph Xavier Bidauld
Artist dates 1758 - 1846
Date made 1788
Medium and support Oil on paper laid down on canvas
Dimensions 40.9 × 31.2 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by the Lishawa family, 2018
Inventory number NG6678
Location Room 42
Collection Main Collection
A View of Tivoli Cascade
Jean Joseph Xavier Bidauld

Jean Joseph Xavier Bidauld was a member of the early generation of neo-classical landscapists. He was taught by Claude-Joseph Vernet, who had introduced oil sketching to the influential artist and teacher Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes. Bidauld was in Italy from 1785 to 1790, where he produced studies which are characteristically detailed and highly finished. This view, probably completed in the studio, is no exception.

Tivoli, lying to the north-east of Rome and famous for its waterfalls, was a favourite destination for painters. In Bidauld’s study the whole of the left side is in deep shadow, the soft brushstrokes in dark greens, conveying a sense of damp mossy vegetation. On the right, in full sun, the foliage is meticulously delineated and the fall of sunlight on the leaves at the right and at the top is captured in minute touches of paint. The thunderous descent of the water is conveyed with fluid strokes of white.

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