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Lake Albano and Castelgandolfo
Birmingham Museums Trust
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Lake Albano and Castelgandolfo
1754 or later (undated)
Oil on canvas
750 x 100.5 cm
29 1/2 x 39 9/16 in.
A view across Lake Albano towards the town and palace of Castelgandolfo, the Pope's summer residence. In the foreground a mother (with some of the attributes of the Madonna) and child can be seen. To the left is an artist.
Birmingham 1934, Art Treasures of the Midlands (293, as Lake Nemi, Castel-Gandolfo)
Mason & Phillips; bt Agnew's 18 December 1917 (#5074); 15 March 1920, bt from Agnew's through the John Feeney Bequest Fund
Signed in monogram on stone lower left: RW [R reversed]
Inscribed on arched stone lower centre: XV; l [no further inscription]
Castelgandolfo was and remains the summer residence of the popes. It was built for Urban VIII (1623-44) to the designs of Carlo Maderna.
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
See 'Links' tab
[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
This is harder and more mechanical than other versions. The tree on the left is pattern-like but hard in technique. The central distant landscape has some quality however.
Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Catalogue 1930; Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Catalogue 1960; WGC, p.191 pl. 64b (version 2)
The inscription 'XV' may be intended as the distance from Rome. A drawing with Agnew's in 1981 entitled Landscape in Rome shows a similar stone inscribed 'XV Da Roma'.
Very discoloured and badly in need of cleaning. Kate Lowry has noted: Simple weave linen canvas, glue relined, original turnover edges missing. Pale grey or white ground. Lining has pressed the canvas weave into the paint, otherwise paint appears to be in good condition. Some areas such as the castle and lower right foreground details are good quality, but the scale of figures in the background is rather small, foreground figures are stiff and the foliage and tree branches consist of repetitive mechanical brush strokes. Covered by heavily discoloured varnish particularly noticeable at upper right. No major damages.