Pierre-Jacques Volaire's Vesuvius paintings to sell as a pair

A pair of paintings by Pierre-Jacques Volaire depicting the 1794 eruption of Vesuvius will carry an £80,000-120,000 ($127,510-191,259) estimate to auction on November 12 at Sotheby's London.

The sale is comprised of a selection of items chosen by well-known art dealer Danny Katz.

Volaire (1729-1799) was regarded as the finest painter of volcanic scenes in Naples, having spent 20 years working in the city.

Volaire Vesuvius Sotheby's
The two paintings are selling as a single lot

The latter half of the 18th century saw an explosion of Seismic activity in the area, and Volaire's work became exceptionally popular - driven in large part by the tourists who flocked to the area to witness the eruptions.

Sir Matthew Smith's The Wet Road (1920), valued at £40,000-60,000 ($63,782-95,681), is another notable lot.

Sir Matthew Smith Wet Road
The Wet Road is part of a series of haunting Cornish landscapes

One of a series of unsettling Fauvist landscapes painted by the British artist on his return from the trenches in 1919, the work externalises the isolating and harrowing effects of war on the psyche.

Roberto Matta's The Adventures of a Biomorphic Couple, also valued at £40,000-60,000 ($63,782-95,681), explores similar themes of stress and anxiety.

The artist fled from Paris to New York when war broke out in 1939 - and his surreal work incorporates machine-like forms that hold up a mirror to the horrors of modern mechanised combat.

His work has achieved high figures at past auctions, with Respondre du limite (1961) making $190,000 at Fine Art Auctions Miami last year.

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