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Moccoli Evening in Rome, 1834
Oil on canvas. 38,0 x 47,0 cm
Inventory number: B64
Thorvaldsen’s collection includes no fewer than three city scenes by Caffi. Common to them all is the fact that they are all night paintings and are all about festivities. For tourists, moonlight walks in which imagination and reality, past and present were fused into one were among the highlights of visits to both Rome and Venice, and of course the experience was all the greater when there were fireworks and festivities in the streets. Caffi became a popular painter because he was able effectively and rapidly to capture the atmosphere and mood in landscapes and among the houses in the city. In this respect his virtuosity resides far from the typical Danish Golden Age painting. On the other hand, his skill at perspective was in no way inferior to that of Eckersberg. Like Eckersberg, Caffi published a textbook on perspective.
The picture here provides a convincing impression of the long Corso Umberto I seen from the place where the Via Condotti enters it. Moccoloi is the Italian for a candle end, and the Moccoroli evening is the late night festival of light that concludes the Roman Carnival every year.