Giuseppe De Nittis died on 21 August 1884 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, at age 38. Born in Barletta in the southern province of Puglia, De Nittis moved to Naples at age 14, gaining international acclaim by 21. He also spent time in Rome, Florence, and Paris, where he settled permanently in 1868. Associated with the Impressionists and the Macchiaioli, De Nittis is known for his plein-air paintings with which he studied the effects of light. Five of his works were included in the First Impressionist Exhibition mounted in Paris in 1874. It was Edgar Degas, whose portrait he made in drypoint in 1875, who invited De Nittis to exhibit with the avant-garde group; and the Italian was the only foreigner included in the show. In late 2010, the Petit Palais, Paris held a retrospective exhibition and the Palazzo Zabarella in Padua held another in early 2013. A small museum, the Pinacoteca Giuseppe De Nittis, dedicated to the work of the artist can be found in Barletta.
Seascape Near Naples, ca. 1866, oil on canvas. Private Collection
Breakfast in the Garden, ca. 1880. Barletta, Pinacoteca Giuseppe De Nittis.
The Skating Lesson, oil on panel. Private Collection.
Self-portrait, 1883, oil on canvas. Barletta: Pinacoteca Giuseppe De Nittis.
Portrait de Degas de trois-quart (Portrait of Degas in Three-Quarter View), 1875, drypoint, London, The British Museum
Further Reading: Dominique Morel. Giuseppe De Nittis: La modernité élégante. Paris: Paris Musées, 2010.
Alice Guerrieri and Renata Asquer. L’istante magico: La storia di Giuseppe De Nittis. Bari: Elison Publishing, 2015.
Roderick Conway Norris. “The Outsider Who Documented the World.” The New York Times. 27 February 2013.