About this artwork

According to an inscription on the back of the picture The Uncultivated Genius was painted from life in Naples in 1775 during Allan’s extended stay in Italy (1764-77). Allan’s etching of this same subject bears an alternative title Neapolitan Painter. The hack artist is shown painting a view of the eruption of Vesuvius. Recent research has indicated that the target of Allan’s satire was probably Pietro Fabris, the popular landscape and figure painter. Fabris was a protégé of Sir William Hamilton, the British Ambassador to Naples, who owned another version of this picture.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    David AllanScottish (1744 - 1796)
  • title:
    The Uncultivated Genius
  • date created:
    Dated 1775 (on the back)
  • materials:
    Oil on copper
  • measurements:
    23.90 x 18.50 cm; Framed: 34.00 x 28.70 x 3.70 cm / 2.00 kg
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1950
  • accession number:
    NG 2126
  • gallery:
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David Allan

David Allan