Memory of Capri
  • Franz Skarbina
  • Berlin 1849 - 1910
  • Memory of Capri, 1883
  • Watercolour and gouache, on paper,
  • monogramed and dated with brush in red on the lower left:
    F. SK. / Capri 83
    inscribed with pen and black ink
  • 350 × 250 mm
Georg Malkowsky: Franz Skarbina, in: Deutsche Kunst,
Berlin 1898, vol. II, no. 17, pp. 321-323, ill. p. 330

In the 1898 publication cited above, this watercolour received the title Memory of Capri: From the Painter’s Life in Hotel Pagano. It thus attests to Skarbina’s voyage to this longed-for destination of numerous German writers and artists, following upon the Breslau painter August Kopsch’s discovery of the Blue Grotto in 1826, after which ever more rhapsodic accounts of the idyllic island reached Germany. Most visitors from Northern Europe would take lodgings with the notary Giuseppe Pagano, who soon turned his convivial home into the first hotel on Capri.

The artists depicted here are the Italian painter Alessandro Altamura (Florence 1855-1918 Paris) and his Austrian colleague Othmar Brioschi (Vienna 1854-1912 Rome). The latter had won the major state prize in Vienna the year before, which came with a period of two year’s study in Rome. Brioschi appears to have used the opportunity to get to know the country and its people. After his scholarship ran out in 1885, he would move permanently to the eternal city.