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View of Castel Gandolfo and Lake Albano
Christie's Images Limited 2014
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
View of Castel Gandolfo and Lake Albano
c.1754-56 (undated)
Oil on canvas
75 x 99 cm
29 1/2 x 39 in.
Private Collection, England
Lake Albano appears in the middle distance with the banks rising steeply from it. In the foreground to right and left are groups of trees, between which sit a Madonna-like woman with a child, and a man drawing or reading. Disappearing over the edge of a hill, a man on a white pony leads a donkey by its halter. Across the lake a path slants down the face of the cliff, which is surmounted by the town of Castelgandolfo.
Rome 1959 (672)
J. Tayleur, Buntingsdale Hall, Market Drayton; Frederick Seymour Clarke, 40 Portman Square, London W.1; sold Christie's, 10 February 1933 (39 - A River Scene ) ; bt Graves (£231); with Leggatt, London; 1950, Gooden & Fox, London; Dr Campbell Golding, London; by descent; Christie's, 25 November 2003 (61)
Signed on milestone, centre: RW [monogram, the reversed]
Inscribed [indistinctly] on stone lower left
Castelgandolfo was and remains the summer residence of the popes. It was built for Urban VIII (1623-44) to the designs of Carlo Maderna. The site of the ancient town, Alba Longa, is nearby and Pompey and Domitian, among other celebrated ancient Romans, built villas on the shore of the lake.
D163 Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo, Victoria & Albert Museum
D312 Castel Gandolfo; A View of the Town from across the north end of Lake Albano, with a Shepherd in the Foreground, Private Collection
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[1] Claude Lorrain Pastoral Landscape with Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo, oil on copper, 1639, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
[2] Jonathan Skelton, Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo, watercolour, 1758, Whitworth Art Gallery, The University of Manchester
[3] Joseph Wright of Derby Albano, 1790, National Museum Wales, Cardiff (NMW A 109)
[4] J.-B.-C. Corot, Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo, oil on paper, 1826-28, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Claude's Castel Gandolfo, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, was in the Palazzo Barberini and is likely to have been in Wilson's mind when he chose his viewpoint for this painting. However, Wilson may have given a more accurate account of the architecture as, according to Farington, although he studied Claude he made 'his observations more exact'.
WGC, p. 191, pl. 64b (version 1)