1 Item No items selected
Strada Nomentana - I (View in Italy)
Tate, London 2014
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Strada Nomentana - I (View in Italy)
c.1765-70 (undated)
Oil on canvas
57.1 x 76.2 cm
22 1/2 x 30 in.
The Sedia del Diavolo near the Via Nomentana is seen in the centre, with a dismounted figure attending to his saddlebag before it as his donkey brays in the evening sunlight. His staff rests against a large antique stone fragment in the left foreground. To the right are a seated woman with a babe in arms and a naked child. The scene is framed by a tree and saplings to the left and a cliff with foliage to the right; in the background are a silhouetted tower on a hill and distant mountains.
BI 1841 (79 - Strada Nomentana, lent Vernon); Birmingham 1948-49 (38 - View in Italy); London 1949 (37 - View in Italy)
Sir John Boyd; probably sold Coxe, 7 May 1805 (57 - Landscape and Water, Ruins and Figures); William Esdaile; sold Christie's, 24 March 1838 (68 - A ruin on the bank of an Italian lake, with a man adjusting a sack on the back of a mule ...), bt Vernon; presented by Robert Vernon to the National Gallery, 1847; transferred to the Tate Gallery
Unsigned; no inscription
There are extensive pentimenti round the foreground building and rocks at the right and round the tree in the centre top right. These trees are not painted over reserves but are built up satisfactorily.
The Via Nomentana runs north-east from Rome. The ruin has been identified as the Sedia del Diavolo, one of a number of similar tombs that stand along its length. It appears in several other works, e.g. P68 Classical Landscape with Venus, Adonis and Cupids, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
E91 Charles Cousen, The Ruined Temple, The British Museum
E91A Charles Cousen, The Ruined Temple, Private Collection, England
See 'Links' tab
P68 Classical Landscape with Venus, Adonis and Cupids, c.1754-55, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (105-1878)
[1] Francis Towne (1739-1816): A Sepulchre by the Roadside going from Rome to the Ponte Nomentana, watercolour, 1780, The British Museum (Nn,2.14)
The Art Journal, 1854, p. 76, repr.; Ford 1951, p. 64, under no. 81; WGC, pp. 92, 210, pl. 96a
Dimensions with frame: 82 x 100.3 cm. In 2010, it needed cleaning, covered with discoloured varnish overall.
Kate Lowry has noted: Extensive pentimenti around foreground ruin and foliage against the sky at right. Pentimenti have been retouched. Would benefit from cleaning and further investigation. Excellent foreground figures.