JOHAN CHRISTIAN CLAUSEN CLAUSEN
The Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in December 1820
Oil on canvas
Inv. No. 1825
128 × 172 cm
The Norwegian painter Christian Clausen Dahl lived in Dresden from 1818 onward and worked as a professor at the academy along with his friend Caspar David Friedrich. On a trip to Italy in 1820, he had the fascinating experience of witnessing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was captivated not only by the tremendous force of the eruption but also by an almost scientific curiosity regarding the geological processes involved, since he shared the heightened interest of his time in the history and nature of the Earth. This Frankfurt painting is the largest and last in the series executed by the painter from the studies he did on site.