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A Rock Dwelling
Private Collection, England / Photograph by John Hammond
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
A Rock Dwelling
c.1754 (undated)
Black chalk
115 x 202 mm
4 1/2 x 7 15/16 in.
Private Collection, England
Rising towards the right is a cliff-face dotted with openings of rock dwellings. A woman and child stand in one of these at ground level, perhaps communicating with a figure in the left foreground.
William Lock of Norbury; his sale, Sotheby's, London 3-7 May 1821; Ford family; by descent
Signed lower left: R.W.f
No inscription
The setting may be the sassi in the barren town of Matera, Basilicata, southern Italy. Lying between Calabria and Puglia the area would have been accessible to Wilson from Naples. These rock dwellings were in his day places of abject poverty but since 1993 have been a World Heritage Site.
Walpole Society 1998-I, p. 73, RF104
Enclosed in a lightly drawn chalk border