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A landscape showing openings to caves in the side of a cliff wall

At lower left, a large rock with green leafy plants growing on it emerges in the extreme foreground. Beyond it, in the middle distance, are large boulders and rocky terrain dotted with trees and vegetation, in which two deer are grazing at lower right. Beyond the rocks, dominating the upper half of the piece, large, light brown cliff walls rise up, surmounted by grass and trees under bright blue sky. At center right is a dark, arch-shaped opening in the rocky cliff wall. Further up at extreme right is another, larger cave opening.

Gallery Text

Despite the vertiginous scenery, "La Cava" presents a moment of peace in nature, with two goats grazing in the right corner. The landscape around the Capuchin monastery at La Cava (today Cava de’ Tirreni) in Salerno, Italy, attracted many artists in the 19th century, when painting directly from nature and in the outdoors became a popular mode of expression.

Louise-Joséphine Sarazin de Belmont was one of the few professional French female landscape artists at the time. She took regular trips from France to Italy to work, and for some time also had a studio in Rome.To publicize and sell her works, Sarazin de Belmont

organized several single-artist exhibitions in Paris throughout her career, and she also trained younger artists.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Louise Joséphine Sarazin de Belmont, French (Versailles 1790 - 1870 Paris)
La Cava
Work Type
Persistent Link


Level 2, Room 2100, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Centuries of Tradition, Changing Times: Art for an Uncertain Age
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Physical Descriptions

Oil on paper mounted on canvas
43 × 60 cm (16 15/16 × 23 5/8 in.)
framed: 53 × 68.8 cm (20 7/8 × 27 1/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: lower left: SB [in monogram] La Cava 1829


Recorded Ownership History
Private Collection, Maine, France, sold [through Daguerre, Hôtel Drouot, commissaire-priseur Romain Nouel, March 20, 2018, lot 85]. [Galerie Talabardon et Gautier, Paris], sold; to Eric Seiler, 2018

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Loan from Darcy Bradbury '78 and Eric Seiler '78
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Melanie Gerlis, "Has the Market for Art Fairs become Saturated?", Financial Times (November 9, 2018),, accessed November 29, 2018
  • Dessins, Tableaux, Céramique, Argenterie, Objets d'Art, Mobilier provenant notamment d'un ch, auct. cat., Daguerre and Hôtel Drouot (Paris, March 20, 2018), p. 40, lot 85, repr.

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 2100 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/18/2019 - 01/01/2050

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at