James Pyne

Genoa From the New Terrace

Genoa From the New Terrace by James Pyne

Artwork Detail

James Pyne was principally a coastal landscape painter. He was self-taught, his family having intended him for the law. In 1846 he travelled through Switzerland and Germany to Italy, a country that he was to revisit at the time he produced this painting. The bustling view of the port of Genoa depicts a broad promenade now replaced with a sweeping motorway and industrial sites. In the 1860s Genoa remained an important port, but Pyne is more concerned with the seafront as a theatrical background for the minutiae of daily life. The grander palazzi on the hill overlook an almost Hogarthian scene below, where idle drunks snooze in the sun, others go about their nautical business, and those who live beside the sea wall carry out domestic chores. The colour and depiction of light draws directly on J. M. W. Turner, who admired the younger artist's work. Certainly the Turneresque swathes of sea mist to the left serve a dramatic purpose, while enhancing the marine flavour of the painting. According to Graham Reynolds, Pyne impressed Turner by the power of his mind, and the fact that his art was particularly contrived and worked out in the finest detail. The painting reinforces this opinion, with Pyne artfully creating a mise en scène by painting himself at the easel, on the far right of the promenade. (from The Guide, 2001)

Genoa From the New Terrace
James Pyne
Production date
oil on canvas
1425 x 2040 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Moss Davis, 1929
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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