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Loreto with the Basilica on the Left
Private Collection, England / Photograph by John Hammond
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Loreto with the Basilica on the Left
1751 (undated)
Red chalk
185 x 241 mm
8 1/8 x 9 1/2 in.
Private Collection, England
RF70
D58
On the far left is the basilica or the Church of the Holy House (Chiesa della Casa Santa), built over the remains of the Holy House of the Virgin and an important pilgrimage site. The height of the town (127 metres or 417 feet above sea-level) is indicated by the artist's viewpoint from across the River Musone.
Exeter 1946 (19 - An Italian Town); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (19)
William Lock; his sale, Sotheby's 3 May 1821; Marianne Ford; thence by descent
Unsigned; no inscription
Red chalk was rarely used by Wilson for the drawings he made on the journey from Venice to Rome
Loreto is situated on the Adriatic coast of Italy 22 km southeast of Ancona. Since the 13th century it has been a major centre for pilgrims on account of the Holy House of the Virgin, believed to have been miraculously transported from Nazareth by angels in 1294. The basilica was built over its remains. Between 1750 and 1754, the richly decorated campanile designed by Vanvitelli was under construction.
This is one of only a small number of the drawings executed in red chalk during the journey from Venice to Rome that Wilson made in the company of William Lock.
Walpole Society 1998-I, p. 70, RF 70; Solkin 1982, p. 156
Badly spotted, especially in the upper section