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Tivoli with the Temples of Vesta and the Sibyl and the Grand Cascade
National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Tivoli with the Temples of Vesta and the Sibyl and the Grand Cascade
c.1753-56 (undated)
Black and white chalk on buff paperlack chalk heightened with whjite on ghreyu paper
252 x 187 mm
9 13/16 x 7 1/4 in.
NMW A 5752
The view is from the bottom of the gorge, to the north-east of the town of Tivoli. The round Temple of Vesta and part of the Temple of the Sibyl behind it are seen to the right on a crest of the Aniene Gorge.
London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (34)
Joseph Farington, R.A.; Lady Ford; J. Deffett Francis; Thomas Woolner, R.A.; Sotheby's 20 December 1912; purchased from F.R. Meatyard 1919
Unsigned; Inscribed on old mount (see 'Mount inscriptions')
[1] Upper centre, pencil: This drawing belonged to Joseph Farrington [sic] | R.A. | who was a pupil of Richard Wilson's. It did belong to Lady Ford. Its genuineness is certified underneath by the initials of Farrington. | I have much gratification in begging my friend Thomas Woolner's R.A. acceptance of it. J. Deffett Francis
[2] Upper centre, ink: Wilson
[3] Lower centre. ink JF
[4] Lower centre. ink: Bought at Sotheby's -Dec. 20.1912.10/- / RER
[1] Lower left, pencil: 658
[2] Lower right, pencil: 3
Tivoli is about 20 kilometres from Rome, on the lower slopes of the Sabine Hills. Its finest ruin, the so-called Temple of Vesta (also known confusingly as the Temple of the Tiburtine Sibyl), is a circular building dating from the 1st century BC. Situated dramatically above the a precipice and cascade, it has been admired by artists since the 16th century because of its picturesque location and became a famous attraction for Grand Tourists. Wilson visited the town on several occasions.
D280/10 Italian Sketchbook - Drawings pp. 10(v) and 11(r): The Temples of Vesta and the Sibyl at Tivoli, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven
P45 The Temple of the Sibyl and the Campagna, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.
[1] Francis Towne (1739-1816): Tivoli from below the Falls, with the Temple of Vesta, watercolour, 1781, The British Museum (Nn,3.6)
This view is an elaborated and extended version of D280/10 Italian Sketchbook, p. 11(r). The viewpoint, however, does not relate directly to any known painting by Wilson.
Cardiff 1961, pp. 12-13; Sutton & Clements 1968, p. 32, fig. 34; Solkin 1982, p.162; Spencer-Longhurst 2012, pp. 59-60, fig. 33
Paper slightly discoloured. The drawing is mounted on an old line mount with gilt edging next to it.