About this artwork

This idealised view of Florence recalls the idyllic classical landscapes of Claude and Poussin. The topographical detail was based on drawings made on the spot, but the overall composition, with picnicking figures, was conceived in the artist's studio. Fabre draws your attention from the shaded foreground to the sun-lit river and city, set against a hazy backdrop of snow-capped peaks. In the middle distance by the weir is a fourteenth-century watermill, which was destroyed in the nineteenth century to make way for the Lungarno Vespucci. Beyond is the Palazzo Signoria, and to the left the dome of the cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore.

  • title: A View of Florence from the North Bank of the Arno
  • accession number: NG 2692
  • artist: Francois-Xavier FabreFrench (1766 - 1837)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Bridges Rivers
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1813
  • measurements: 96.00 x 135.00 cm (framed: 119.70 x 159.20 x 9.70 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased with the aid of the Galloway Anderson Fund and the Art Fund 1998

Francois-Xavier Fabre

Francois-Xavier Fabre

Fabre was an outstanding pupil of the neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David, and won the French Academy's Rome Prize in 1787. He then spent most of his life in Italy, first in Rome and from 1793, in Florence. Fabre specialized in half-length portraits, popular with the British community in Florence, and also continued to paint history pictures and landscapes. He became an enthusiastic collector and is now best known for his collection of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Italian paintings, which is housed in the Musée Fabre in his native Montpellier.