Pierre-Athanase Chauvin

Pierre-Athanase Chauvin, French, 1774-1832
The Falls at Tivoli  with the Temple of the Sibyl, c.1815
oil on canvas, 38 1/16 x 29 ¼ in. (96.6 x 74.3 cm)
Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The William A. Whitaker Art Fund

Pierre-Athanase Chauvin’s The Falls at Tivoli with the Temple of the Sibyl (1815) displays both harmony and dissonance between mankind and nature. Although the man-built architecture blends with the natural architecture of the mountain instead of against it, the structures taint the beauty of the majestic peaks.  Nature, almost in retaliation for man’s attempt to alter the environment, overcomes the rubble in the middle-ground with flourishing brush, leaving only minor evidence that man once occupied the area. The presence of the man, who stands fishing, demonstrates that it is still possible for man to enjoy a tranquil compatibility with nature despite humankind’s constant struggle with their natural environment.

~Anders Orn

An extended look at Chauvin’s The Falls at Tivoli with the Temple of Sibyl by Anders Orn