Italian Villa

Accession Number

Italian Villa

Caroline T. Beam

Object Creation Date
circa 1850

Medium & Support
charcoal and white chalk on heavy paper with prepared sand surface

17 9/16 x 23 1/4 in. (44.6 x 58.9 cm);17 1/2 x 23 5/16 x 13/16 in. (44.45 x 59.06 x 1.91 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of The Daniel and Harriet Fusfeld Folk Art Collection

Label copy
Caroline T. Beam
United States, active in mid-nineteenth century
Italian Villa
circa 1850
Charcoal and white chalk on handmade sandpaper
Gift of the Daniel and Harriet Fusfeld Folk Art Collection, 2002/1.171
Beam used charcoal and white chalk on handmade sandpaper to heighten the black-and-white contrast of her work. This monochrome technique followed in the tradition of European “grisaille,” or monochrome painting, that developed in the late medieval period to imitate the effects of marble sculpture in drawings and paintings. The technique became popular in the United States in the early nineteenth century.
(Out of the Ordinary, 2010)
Caroline Beam was active in New England during the middle of the nineteenth century. Landscapes like Italian Villa were popular during this period as fashionable elements to display in the home. Demonstrating popular romantic perceptions of the wealthy, this work reveals middle and lower class views of the period. The monochrome grisaille technique was considered elegant during the nineteenth century, which further contributes to the romantic interpretation of the subject matter.

Lindsay Meehan
Modern and Contemporary Art Intern

Physical Description
Wolf’s Antiques, Flint, Michigan

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted