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Tivoli: The Temple of the Sybil and the Campagna - II
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Tivoli: The Temple of the Sybil and the Campagna - II
c. 1765 (undated)
Oil on canvas
73.6 x 97.8 cm
29 x 38 1/2 in.
APx 1979.29
P143
The town of Tivoli is seen from the north east across the gorge of the river Aniene (or Anio), with the Roman Campagna and the city of Rome itself in the distance. To the left, on the cliff edge, is a small cluster of ancient buildings. These include the circular Roman Temple of Vesta and the rectangular Temple of the Tiburtine Sibyl.
New York 2010 (10)
John Laporte (1761-1839), London; bt 10 June 1817 by Amabel Yorke, Baroness Lucas of Crudwell, Countess de Grey of Wrest (1750-1833), London and Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, England; by descent to her nephew, Thomas Philip Robinson Weddell (later de Grey), 6th Baron Lucas of Crudwell, 3rd Baron Grantham and 2nd Earl de Grey of Wrest (1781-1859), Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, as View at Albano, near Rome; by descent to his daughter, Anne Florence Weddell de Grey Cowper, Baroness Lucas of Crudwell, Countess Cowper (1806-80), Panshanger, Hertfordshire and Wrest Park, Bedfordshire; by descent to her son, Francis Thomas de Grey Cowper, 7th Earl Cowper, 8th Baron Lucas of Crudwell, 4th Lord Dingwall, 3rd Baron Butler of Moore Park (1834-1905), Panshanger, Hertfordshire, and Wrest Park, Bedfordshire; by descent to his nephew, Auberon Thomas Herbert, 9th Baron Lucas of Crudwell, 5th Lord Dingwall (1876-1916), London; by inheritance to his sister, Nan Ino Herbert Cooper, Baroness Lucas of Crudwell, Lady Dingwall, (1880-1958) London; her sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, 26 May 1922 (89 - A View at Albano, near Rome); bt for 160 guineas by Percy Moore Turner, Independent Gallery, 7A Grafton Street, London W.1.; Scott and Fowles, New York; bt by Mrs. Frederick Wallis Hinkle, Cincinnati, late 1920s or early 1930s; Newhouse Galleries, Inc., New York; bt by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1979
Tivoli is about 20 kilometres from Rome, on the lower slopes of the Sabine Hills. Its finest ruin, the so-called Temple of Vesta, is a circular building dating from the 1st century BC. Situated dramatically above 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.
D217 Tivoli with the Temples of Vesta and the Sibyl and the Grand Cascade, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
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
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P45 The Temple of the Sibyl and the Campagna, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
Copy attributed to J.M.W. Turner, c.1798, Tate, London (N05512)
Like the artist seen sketching in this picture, Richard Wilson must have passed many pleasurable hours drawing the dramatic site, with its distinctive temples and extensive view over the Roman Campagna. The area had also figured in the works of Claude Lorrain and Gaspard Dughet, from whose classic landscapes Wilson's composition derives unmistakably - a wedge of land framed by a tree, the hillside view of the town and the vista of the low plain as it extends toward Rome. This painting, a variant of a composition the artist first painted in 1752 (P45), was made after his return to Britain. By introducing the ideal landscape to the next generation, he played a major role in establishing the British school of landscape painters. Even John Constable, who professed no need to go to Italy, was influenced by Wilson and spoke of how his work 'still swims in my brain like a delicious dream.' The young J. M. W. Turner's debt was explicit - many years before he made his own trip to the Roman Campagna, he seems to have copied this painting, though omitting the large tree and figures (c.1798, Tate, London).
WGC p. 223, pl. 116b (version 1)