Between 1851 and 1853, Friedrich Metz lived in Rome. He probably used the pencil sketchbook between the beginning of June and the end of September 1852 on trips to the city’s vicinity and on a journey to the south of Italy lasting several weeks. According to his occasional dates and places, these trips took him, among others, across the Gulf of Naples and the Sorrento peninsula to Sicily, where he first stayed on the north coast in Monreale and Palermo, and towards the end of his journey on the east coast in Taormina and Catania (see also the other sketchbooks used by Metz on his travels through Italy in the Städel Museum, Inv. SG 2821, SG 2770, SG 2759 and SG 2824 as well as probably SG 2823 and SG 2825). On pages that were apparently often opened at random, he mainly captured full-page views of hilly, mountainous and coastal landscapes. Less frequently, he sketched buildings, shepherds, cows and goats or drew after antique friezes or frescoes. Metz reproduced what he saw on the way – sometimes presumably while standing – with mostly rapid strokes, some of them only roughly outlining the motif. He was obviously less interested in precise documentation than in quickly recording his travel impressions.
The original, probably hard cover of the sketchbook has been lost; perhaps it resembled the leather covers of the English memorandum books, which also had an oblong landscape format, but were usually more magnificently decorated with coloured endpapers (see e.g. Inv. SG 2769, Städel Museum).
For a full sketchbook description, please see “Research”.
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