The painter of poetic landscapes…
Walking into the ground exhibition space of CVAR you cannot but immediately be captivated by the warmth of the peaceful sunset of Hermann Salomon Corrodi and imagine that you are that beautifully dressed young girl that leans over the stone wall to sense the summery aromas of the ‘sweet williams’.
Corrodi got inspired and painted this landscape in Larnaca, not only combining different parts of the city in one painting, but also masterfully presenting many of the characteristic elements of 19th century Cyprus: domestic urban architecture, monuments, flora, fauna, myth and costumes.
Who was Hermann David Salomon Corrodi and what was he doing in Cyprus?
Hermann was born in an artistic family in Frascati, a little town 12 miles outside Rome, on 23 July 1844. In a memorial article published in ‘The Baltimore Sun’ the week of his death in February 1905, some interesting information is revealed about his artistic brilliance and his life:
“He inherited the talent of his father, and every encouragement and assistance to the development of his artistic faculties were given him. Like several other Roman artists, he was gifted with eye-memory, certain effects in nature and certain Impressions of subjects and landscapes remained clearly pictured in his mind from the age of 6 years, and 20 years afterwards he painted what he considered one of his best pictures from an impression received at that early age”.
He arrived in Cyprus around the 1870s or/and 1880s in one of his several travelling excursions around Europe and the Middle East. The Cypriot scenery must have coincided with the subjects he mostly loved: “Hermann became the painter of poetic landscapes. The Mediterranean, with its blue waters and sun-bleached shores, the life and motion, and colour of processions in the little cities on religious festivals [… ] formed the choice subjects of Corrodi's brush”.
Corrodi was a well-established and recognised artist during his time. He was a friend of Queen Victoria and he was receiving commissions by the royal family, who also bought several of his artworks. During his lifetime he received many prizes and honours.
[Source: The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. 19 February 1905, Sunday. Page 5.]