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Paris Art Studies


Guiseppe de Nittis – 1846-1884



1846 – Born in Bartletta near Bari in Puglia. He is the youngest of a family of four boys. His father, a rich landowner, is a liberal figure in the very conservative Kingdom of Naples who has spent time in prison.

1849 – Death of Guiseppe’s mother.

1856 – Suicide of his father. The de Nittis boys are brought up by an uncle and aunt.

1858 – Death of his uncle Vincenzo, architect of the saltworks of Bartletta.

1860 – Guiseppe with two of his brothers move to Naples under the protection of the Duke of Cirelli.

1861 – Guiseppe studies at the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples but is expelled for disciplinary problems.

1863 – With artists Adriano Cecioni, Marco de Gregorio and Federico Rossano he founds the “School of Resina”.

1867 – First trip to Paris. Meets art dealer Adolph Goupil. Visits Florence in October.

1868 – Returns to France in June. Rents a room in pension in Bougival outside Paris.

1869 – Marries the 26-year old Léontine Gruvelle from Blois, adoptive daughter of Paris costume shop owner.

Shows for the first time in Paris Salon. Goupil commissions several paintings. The married couple move to a country villa between Bougival and Rueil (La Jonchère).

1870 – Shows two paintings in Salon. Exchanges paintings with Manet. Paints at La Grenouillère in Chatou. Returns to Bartletta in the fall after outbreak of Franco-Prussian war.

1872 – Sends “The Road to Naples in Brindisi” to Paris Salon - it is a great success. Visits Herculaneum. Paints the eruption of Vesuvius. Birth of his son Jacques.

1873 – Returns to Paris. Exhibits two Vesuvius paintings in Salon. Lives in house, on 64, Avenue du Bois de Boulogne.

1874 – Sends three paintings to Salon but also shows in first Impressionist exhibition in April invited by Degas. Breaks with dealer Goupil resenting his requests for commercial paintings.

1875 – Meets one of his greatest friends, the art critic Jules Claretie, through the engraver Marcellin Desboutin. First trip to London where he meets the banker and art collector Kaye Knowles. Shows “Place de la Concorde” and “A Bougival” in Salon.

1876 – Shows one of his most famous paintings Place des Pyramides and “Sur la Route de Castelmarre” at the Salon. He receives a gold medal of the third category.

1877 – He buys at the third Impressionist exhibition Monet’s “Turkeys”. Exhibits in Salon.

1878 – Meets the novelist, chronicler and collector Edmond de Goncourt. Buys a view of the port of Le Havre by Monet. Shows three works in Paris World’s Fair. He is made chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

1879 – Illustrations for Emile Bergerat’s fashionable magazine la Vie Moderne. Exhibits 30 works in King Street Galleries, London.

1880 – Buys house on rue Viète in fashionable Monceau district in Paris.

1881 – Leads brilliant social life, does not show in Salon.

1882 – Organizes an international group show at the new Georges Petit gallery where he exhibits 50 works.

1883 – Exhibits again in Salon. The French state buys “The Ruins of the Tuileries”. De Nittis buys back from Goupil “Place des Pyramides” and offers it to the Luxembourg museum, the then museum of modern art in Paris. Shows again at Georges Petit. Travels to Naples in the company of Edmond de Goncourt.

1884 – He finds out that a lot of false versions of his paintings are going around the market. He sends to the Salon “The Goose Keeper”, “the Luncheon” and “Autumn Flower”. He dies suddenly on 12 August of a stroke in his country house at Ste Germain-en-Laye.

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