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The Broken Bridge at Narni
Plymouth City Council (Arts and Heritage)
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Broken Bridge at Narni
Oil on canvas
40 x 70 cm
15 3/4 x 27 9/16 in.
Lady Beryl Gilbert, Revesby Abbey, Lincolnshire; Christie's 8 February 1918 (152), bt Agnew; 1924 sold to Arthur Meyer; 1975, bt by Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
The bridge was built in the first century A.D. and carried the Via Flaminia north from Rome across the Nera River, which flowed at the foot of the ancient town of Narnia, later called Narni. By the 18th century the bridge had long been a ruin, with only one of its three massive arches remaining, together with the bases of the two others.
E72/27 Thomas Hastings Untitled (Landscape Capriccio on the Via Aemilia), The British Museum (1854,0708.84) and other impressions
This is closely related to Claude Lorrain's Landscape with the Flight into Egypt, 1663, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, in Wilson's day at the Palazzo Colonna, Rome
A strong visual message of the work is the history of declining ancient civilisation and its potential application to eighteenth-century Britain.
WGC, pl. 90a