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Lake Nemi, Figures Bathing
Private Collection, England / Photograph by John Hammond
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Lake Nemi, Figures Bathing
c.1754-56 (undated)
Oil on canvas
61 x 76.2 cm
24 x 30 in.
Private Collection, England
BB12
P81
The lake and town of Nemi,with two women bathing from a rock in the right foreground.
Brighton 1920 (35); Hull 1936 (33); Machynlleth 1937 (8); Exeter 1946 (75); Conwy 2009 (11); Weston 2011 (11); Gainsborough House 2014 (unnumbered)
Benjamin Booth; The Revd R.S. Booth; Lady Ford; Sir Richard Ford, Sir F. Clare Ford; John G. Ford; Sir Brinsley Ford; thence by descent
Unsigned; no inscription
Lake Nemi is situated about 19 miles south of Rome in Lazio. It is a small volcanic lake, overlooked by the eponymous town. Both town and lake were closely associated with the cult of the goddess Diana, whose temple was in nearby Ariccia. It was known by Virgil and other ancient writers as Speculum Dianae (Diana's Mirror). Wilson went on to produce works such as P127 and P127A that made reference to the mythological associations of the place, by including the figures of Diana and Callisto as described by Ovid.
E72/33 Thomas Hastings, The Lake of Nemi in Italy, 1824, The British Museum (1854,0708.90) and other impressions
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P127 Richard Wilson and Studio:The Lake of Nemi or Speculum Dianae with Dolbadarn Castle (Diana and Callisto)
P127A The Lake of Nemi or Speculum Dianae (The Lake of Nemi with Diana and Callisto)
Gaspard Dughet, Ideal Landscape, later 1640s, Glasgow City Art Gallery and Museum
Probably the painting referred to by Benjamin Booth as 'Nemi. painted at Rome' (Booth Notes Doc. 8). The style supports a dating to Wilson's Roman years.
Booth Notes Doc. 5, p. 2; probably Booth Notes Doc. 8, p. 1 (Nemi. painted at Rome.); Booth Notes, Doc. 9 (37): WGC, p. 208, pl. 93a (version 1); Walpole Society 1998-I, p. 15; Lord 2009, p. 53, no. 11; Williams 2011, p. 22, repr.
26/08/2020