Friedrich Metz took the paperback sketchbook with him on his trip to Italy from late May to late July 1876. Probably coming from Beirut via the Mediterranean, the 56-year-old artist had previously travelled to the Near East (see on this journey Inv. SG 2764 and SG 2765, Städel Museum). From the dates and places he noted down among many of his quickly sketched impressions, it can be deduced that, from the end of May 1876, he first visited the Gulf of Naples and then Capri, before travelling via Ravello to Salerno and the ancient ruins of Paestum to the south. Finally, from the end of June, he hiked in the area of the Albanian Lake and in the Albanian mountains, sketching motifs of Castel Gandolfo, Marino, Ariccia and Nemi, among others. Metz thus returned to some of the places he had visited almost a quarter of a century earlier (see Inv. SG. 2758 and SG 2759, Städel Museum).
In this sketchbook, Metz quickly sketched numerous views of the landscape and the city, and he occasionally also made close-up studies of trees. Above all, however, one motif returns in variations: the shepherd lying on the ground in the open air, presumably sleeping, usually with his flock. As can be observed in many of his later sketchbooks, Metz opened the pages rather randomly – as the changing dates reveal – to put his impressions down on paper, presumably while still standing.
For a full sketchbook description, please see “Research”.
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