Anton Sminck PITLOO 1790 -1837

Anton Sminck Pitloo’s exact date of birth is unknown, although it might be either May 8, 1790 or April 21, 1791, as documented by ancient Dutch sources.

He received his initial artistic education in his hometown Arnhem, where he became pupil of H.J. Van Ameron; in occasion of Louis Napoleon’s visit in town, the painter was presented to the king and was granted visits to Paris, where he lived from 1808 to 1811 and eventually to Rome.

The art critics have trouble in reconstructing the artist’s orientations and productions of this period; they have been productive and ‘receptive’ years, during which the painter confronted himself with modern cultural experiences compared to his hometown, as well as orienting himself towards the study of landscape art.

Between 1814 and 1815, after the end of the Napoleonic Empire, Pitloo reached Naples, joining Count Gregorio Vladimiro Orloff’s court.

During this initial phase of his Neapolitan activity, he kept visiting Rome, and married Giulia Mori in 1820, who was sister of the pupil engraver of the Piranesi Ferdinando Mori.

In 1822, Pitloo was nominate honorary professor of the Royal Institute of Fine arts and in 1824, he became ordinary professor of landscape art.

Before becoming Professor, Pitloo had been living in Naples for over ten years in the Vicoletto del Vasto 15, where he had opened a private painting school, which had been attended by Giacinto Gigante and Achille Vianelli.

He stayed in Naples until his death on June 22 of 1837 due to the epidemic of cholera of that year. Pitloo’s presence in Naples was essential for the successive development of landscape art, both thanks to his private painting school and to the academic teaching at university, making him one of the most important exponents of the “Scuola di Posillipo”.