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Rome from the Villa Madama
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Rome from the Villa Madama
Oil on canvas
42.8 x 52.7 cm
16 13/16 x 20 3/4 in.
The view is from the gardens of the Villa Madama on the slopes of Monte Mario. The Villa itself is seen only in part on the right and beyond it is the dome of St Peter's on the skyline. The River Tiber meanders through the composition leading the eye to the Alban Hills in the distance, beyond the city of Rome.
London 1925 (25 - View of Rome; Manchester 1925 (36); London, Colnaghi, February - March 1962, Madan Collection (7)
Col. M.H. Grant; with Leggatt, London, 1927; bequeathed by Francis Faber Madan, 1962
Unsigned; no inscription
[1] Painted in black on frame lower right: No 18q
[1] Verso of frame circular upper left: c HAB | II.
[2] Verso of frame upper centre: F.F. Madan Esq | Richard Wilson
[3] Verso on vertical stretcher, inverted: [printed:] City of Manchester | [black ink:] 18 Sep
D225 The Villa Madama, Rome, with a Man seated in the Foreground, Private Collection, England
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This painting is more freely executed, of lighter mood and includes fewer incidental details than the other versions; also the viewpoint is from further to the left and nearer to the river. For these reasons and in view of its smaller size it may have been a modello, submitted for the client's approval.
Bury 1947, p. 72; WGC, pp. 218-19 under pl. 107 a, b (version 4); Solkin 2015, pp. 212-13
As noted in Solkin 2015, Wilson was the only British landscapist with direct experience of the fabled sites of Roman Antiquity until the return of William Marlow from Europe in 1766.
Relined. Extensive craquelure, which appears in-painted in places. Varnish is thick, even, glossy and discoloured (yellowed).