Interior of the Cathedral, Pisa

Interior of the Cathedral, Pisa

David Roberts, Scottish, British, 1796-1864
Oil paint on canvas
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

David Roberts, Interior of the Cathedral, Pisa, 1859. Oil paint on canvas; 47 1/4 × 35 1/2 in. (120 × 90.2 cm). Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2018.16

image height: 47 1/4 in, 120.0150 cm; image width: 35 1/2 in, 90.1700 cm; frame height: 58 1/4 in, 147.955 cm; frame width: 46 3/4 in, 118.745 cm; frame depth: 4 in, 10.1600 cm
European and American Art Before 1900
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900
This object is currently on view

David Roberts apprenticed with a house painter, training his eye for fine detail by replicating intricate stone tracery and delicate wood grain, then worked as a theater set designer, learning about the dramatic potential of architectural representation. When he turned full-time to his own painting at the age of thirty-four, he deployed these experiences to great success in works such as the Berger picture. A master at subtly manipulating space for maximum dramatic effect, he conveyed the cathedral’s great depth by placing figures at different locations within the nave, their sizes diminishing as they approach the high altar.

Known Provenance
Purchased from the artist by B. Preston, Liverpool. Sotheby Parke Bernet, London, June 16, 1982, lot 190. Sotheby’s, London, April 3, 1996, lot 122; from which acquired by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2018. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018