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Studies & Designs: Distant View of Ninfa and Norba
The Trustees of the British Museum
John Whessell (c.1760-1806) after Wilson
Studies & Designs: Distant View of Ninfa and Norba
Published 1811
Soft-ground etching, with etching
173 x 227 mm
6 13/16 x 8 15/16 in.
1863,1114.232
E60/30
View of far-off buildings with a square tower to the left (Ninfa), seen on a plain before mountains with a town on a peak in the centre (Norba) and other buildings further up in the distance - all within an etched rectangular border
Bought from Samuel & Sons, 1863
Lettered below the image 'Wilson del, | Whessell Sculp'
Ninfa was a medieval town near Sermoneta abandoned by the 18th century on account of the encroachment of marshland and prevalence of malaria. In 1765 the former town hall was transformed into a barn by Francesco Caetani, Duke of Sermoneta, and Pope Pius VI started a reclamation of the marshes, though the project was abandoned. The garden at Ninfa and its surroundings languished as a neglected part of the Caetani domain until the 20th century, when the estate was renovated and the garden was transformed. Norba, an ancient town of Latium, is situated 1 mile northwest of the modern town of Norma, on the western edge of the Volscian Mountains. The town is perched above a precipitous cliff with an extensive view over the Pomptine Marshes.
D53/48 Studies and Designs done in Rome in the Year 1752, p. 48, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
From a set of small soft-ground etchings by Whessell made after Wilson's drawings in a sketchbook at the Victoria & Albert Museum (D53-D53/81). The present print is taken from p. 48 (D53/48). In 1811 the etchings were published by the Oxford-based publisher, Robert Archer in more than one format.
06/10/2017