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The Vale of Narni.
The Trustees of the British Museum
Thomas Hastings after Wilson
The Vale of Narni.
Published February 1821
Etching on chine collé
235 x 181 mm
9 1/4 x 7 1/8 in.
1854,0708.65
E72/8
In the centre beneath a group of stone pines a man and a woman are holding an animated conversation while next to them on the right two women and a child recline on the ground, surveying the river valley and distant mountains.
Bought from George Willis, Piazza, Covent Garden, 1854
Lettered below the image with the title: 'The Vale of Narni. | about 40 Miles from Rome.'; also 'The Original is in the Possession of Lady Ford.', production details and publication line: 'Painted by R. Wilson. | 1770 [or 76]' ' Etched by T Hastings 1821 | Pubd. in London Feby. 1821'
The actual Vale of Narni is about 40 miles north of Rome, in Umbria, almost at the geographic centre of Italy. Wilson passed through or near Narni on his way to Rome and he incorporated its famous broken bridge into several capriccios such as P66 Landscape Capriccio on the Via Aemilia, Private Collection, New York. However, the title first appears with this print and the scene may have been invented by Wilson soon after his return to London. If intended as topographical the view may be along the River Nera valley to the east of Narni, towards the high Apennines in the distance.
P102 The Vale of Narni, Private Collection, England
From a series of forty etchings after paintings by Richard Wilson and additional title page, bound in a volume in red tooled leather with gold decorative border, lettered on the spine with 'Wilson's | Etchings | by | Hastings'; the title page lettered in black and red: 'Etchings, | from the Works | of | [ facsimile of signature below portrait] Ric. Wilson | with Some Memoirs of his Life, &c. | by Thomas Hastings, Esq. | Collector of His Majesty's Customs. | "Non Ductus Officio Sed Amore Operis." Quintillian. | Published by Hurst, Robinson & Co. Cheapside, London. | Johnson, Typ. Apollo Press, 1825. Brook Street, Holborn'; containing twenty pages of Introductory and Concluding Remarks by the etcher, including descriptions of Richard Wilson's original paintings.
PPA324279
Hastings 1825; WGC, p. 206 under pl. 90b; Yule 2015, pp. 60 & 69
George Willis was an antiquarian book dealer, who occasionally published books and prints. His firm was active from 1832-1856 and sold many prints to the British Museum. In 1856 it merged with Thomas Sotheran to become Willis & Sotheran.
09/12/2015