A Terrace in the South
  • Joseph Selleny
  • Vienna 1824 - 1875
  • A Terrace in the South, circa 1858
  • Pencil, partly coloured wash, on paper,
  • numbered with pencil on the left: 55.,
    inscribed on the former mount: Auf der Novarra Reise
  • 234 × 331 mm

Alongside his training at the Vienna academy for the visual arts, Joseph Selleny studied with Thomas Ender (1793-1875), by whom he was particularly schooled in watercolour painting, which would later be of great use to Selleny. In 1854, he obtained the academy’s coveted Rome prize, which came with a year’s scholarship in Italy.

After his return, the young artist’s extraordinary talent had become so well-known that Alexander von Humboldt personally recommended him when Archduke Ferdinand Max of Austria was organising the team for a scientific sea voyage around the world on an imperial frigate.

On April 30, 1857, the Novara set out from Trieste. Other experts on board with the 33 year-old painter included an economist, a zoologist, a gardener, and a taxidermist of plants and animals.

Before the expedition’s return on August 26, 1859, Selleny prepared more than 2,000 watercolour sketches of the exotic sights they encountered on their journey around the globe. All of the sheets were numbered, but not always inscribed, so that the site where this study was made is as yet unidentified.