The Lure of Italy and the Orient

Ippolito Caffi

Ippolito Caffi was an Italian painter famous for his landscapes and urban views. He was also an adventurer and a patriot.

  • 1.2.–27.5.2018
Tickets: with a museum ticket
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen.

Ippolito Caffi (Belluno 1809–1866 Lissa) was a representative and innovator of the veduta tradition. His admiration for Canaletto is apparent in the luminous and translucent quality of his early seascapes and architectural subjects. Caffi would go on to win acclaim for his mist-shrouded landscapes executed in an intense and romantic style. In Caffi’s hands, a nocturnal cityscape could be transformed into a theatrical stage where the main role was played not by the buildings but by a mysterious and dream-like glow of light.

The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through Venice, Rome, Naples, Athens, Constantinople and other cities of the Orient. Always determined to keep off the well-trodden path, Ippolito Caffi was an adventurer, who pursued far-flung destinations, even when it meant taking risks. His paintings, watercolours and drawings of Egypt, Syria and Jerusalem take us to places that were not part of the classic Grand Tour.

Caffi was also a fervent Italian patriot. He joined the Venetian revolt against Austria, losing his life in 1866 during the Battle of Lissa when the Re d’Italia ship sank in the Adriatic Sea. 

This exhibition comprises 73 paintings and a selection of 15 watercolours and drawings from the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia collection.