The Bay of Naples

William Wyld
(1806-89) British
Title The Bay of Naples
Category Recently Sold
Medium & Size Oil on canvas: 39x65 in. (Frame: 48x73 in.)
Price Band £50,000 plus
Location Please Refer
Biography

William Wyld was born in London in 1806. He became interested in drawing while very young. At the age of 20 his father died and due to family connections he became secretary to the British Consulate at Calais; then a Champagne merchant from 1827 to 1833.

Wyld was a pupil of Francois Louis Francia. He lived mostly in Paris where he became great friends with Bonington. His drawings of Paris are close to those of Bonington in subject and style.

Wyld firstly exhibited at the Salon in 1839 and won a third-class medal, two years later a second-class medal and was admitted to the Legion of Honour in 1855.

He also exhibited his work in London from 1849 to 1882, three pictures at the Royal Academy, five at the British Institute and 206 at the New Watercolour Society of which he became a full member in 1879, but resigned in 1883.

Though he worked in oils he is best known as a landscape watercolourist.

He travelled extensively to other parts of Europe to paint the wonderful scenery, especially, Venice.

Wyld played an important part in the development of watercolours as a medium in France,and in Dieppe as a young man he made friends with the great French master Horace Vernet who was very supportive of Wyld’s artistic career and used his influence with his noble clientele to sell Wyld’s paintings because Vernet revered Wyld’s great artistic talent.

Queen Victoria became an admirer of Wyld’s work and commissioned him to paint a number of works.Wyld died in Paris in 1889.

This painting represents one of Wyld’s most important master pieces. This work was almost certainly commissioned by a major patron, possibly via Horace Vernet who was also the French Ambassador to the Court at Naples. A very similar composition of this same view by Wyld in a small watercolour was sold at Christies in 2009.

Bibl: Victorian Painters – Christopher Wood.                                

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