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Ponte delle Torri, seen through an Arch (A Viaduct seen through an Arch)
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Ponte delle Torri, seen through an Arch (A Viaduct seen through an Arch)
c.1751-52 (undated)
Black chalk on medium, moderately-textured, cream laid paper
273 x 206 mm
10 3/4 x 8 1/8 in.
B1977.14.6061
D39
Aldeburgh 1964, English Drawings 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr & Mrs Paul Mellon (56); London, Colnaghi & Co. & Yale University Art Gallery, December 1964 - June 1965, English Drawings and Watercolours from the Collection of Mr and Mrs Paul Mellon (56); New Haven 1981 (87)
William Lock of Norbury; his sale, Sotheby's 3 May 1821; Marianne Ford; thence by descent to Captain Richard Ford; his sale, Christie's 17 June 1929 (11 - bt Lowinsky with two others in one mount (£9.19.6)); Mrs Thomas Lowinsky; Paul Mellon; acquired 1977
Unsigned; no inscription
[1] Recto lower right: 'TEL' in circle: Thomas Lowinsky (Lugt 2420a)
[1] Black ink, upper centre: 'From the collection of Captain Ford [|] sold at Christies June 17 1929
The location was identified for the first time in Bull 1981 as probably the large viaduct which spans the ravine just outside Spoleto in Umbria, crossing the River Tessino. At each end of the bridge is a fortress - the Rocca Albornoziana and the Fortilizio dei Mulini. It is possibly from their towers that the structure derives its name. Originally a Roman aqueduct it is difficult to date but in its present state was probably completed at the end of the fourteenth century. It stands on nine mighty arches, has a length of 230 meters and a height of 80. Wilson was not alone in being struck by the bridge; over the centuries it has impressed many travellers, including Goethe in 1786.
D59 Ponte Alpino built by Hannibal, Tate, London
One of a number of drawings executed during Wilson's journey from Venice to Rome in the company of William Lock, the first owner, in 1751-52. They travelled along the coast to Loreto, then inland via Foligno, probably passing through Spoleto.
Object ID: 15147
Ford 1951 p. 52, pl. 9; Bull 1981, p. 59, cat. 87
25/02/2020