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Strada Nomentana - II (View on the Strada Nomentana)
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Strada Nomentana - II (View on the Strada Nomentana)
c.1766
Oil on canvas
42 x 53cm
16 1/2 x 20 7/8 in.
BORGM 02383
P105
A ruined ancient temple on the banks of a stream at sunset, with a man and two children together with two hounds reflected in the water. To the right are large rocks and trees. A serpentine path traversed by two small figures leads towards a row of trees in the left distance. Further away in the centre are ancient buildings and mountains.
BI 1814 (135/138 - lent Lady Ford as View on the Strada Nomentana in Italy); Brighton 1920 (38); 1955, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth; London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (123)
Sir George Beaumont; Benjamin Booth; the Revd R.S. Booth; Lady Ford; Richard Ford; Sir Francis Clare Ford; Captain Richard Ford; Christie's 4 June 1929 (16); bt Gooden & Fox (850 guineas); Ernest E. Cook, 1, Sion Hill Place, Bath; bequeathed by Ernest E. Cook through the National Art-Collections Fund, 1955
Very faintly inscribed on the base of the fallen column, left centre foreground: RW [monogram, R reversed] and illegible marks, perhaps once a date
[1] Centre of upper horizontal members of stretcher and frame over brown paper tape: printed and typed London 1982-83 exhibition label, Tate Gallery
[2] Centre of lower horizontal members of stretcher and frame partly under brown paper tape: printed and manuscipt museum label with old accession number, 1424, perhaps dating from 1955
[3] Lower left corner of frame over brown paper tape, manuscript label: AMC / Survey / 1995
The ruin has been identified as the 'Sedia del Diavolo', one of many ancient tombs to be found along the Via Nomentana, north east of Rome.
E39 Joseph Farington after Wilson, Twelve Etchings of Views in Italy - In the Strada Nomentana, 1776, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven (B1977.14.21011(h)) and other impressions
E72/23 Thomas Hastings after Wilson, View on the Strada Nomentana in Italy, The British Museum (1854,0708.80) and other impressions
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P68 Classical Landscape with Venus, Adonis and Cupids, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
[1] Francis Towne (1739-1816): A Sepulchre by the Roadside going from Rome to the Ponte Nomentana, watercolour, 1780, The British Museum (Nn,2.14)
Wilson first drew this structure in his Italian Sketchbook of 1752 (Victoria & Albert Museum, London) and later included it in several other paintings, for example P68 Classical Landscape with Venus, Adonis and Cupids, Victoria & Albert Museum. However it is doubtful whether the subject was here intended to do more than signify a generalised image of Roman imperial greatness in decay.
1424
Booth Notes, Doc. 9 (29); Wright 1824, p. 272 (a version); Burlington Magazine, April 1920, p. 199, repr.; WGC, p. 210, pl. 96b version 1; Solkin 1982, p. 230
The Via Nomentana runs north east from Rome to Nomentum (Mentana), passing near the Alban Hills
Relined. In a gold-painted twentieth-century classical frame. Dimensions in present frame: 52.3 x 62.5 cm (20 9/16 x 24 5/8 in.).
Kate Lowry has noted: Frame: Gilt frame, not original or period, and coated with gold paint. It is not glazed or backed. Stretcher dimensions: 420 x 530 mm (approximate measurement in frame where stretcher edges are covered by tape.) Solkin records that the painting is signed and dated on the left hand end of the fallen column in the foreground. Close examination revealed a possible 'RW' monogram in this location but no convincing date was discovered.
Support: The original canvas is a simple weave, medium weight linen and this has been paste lined onto a similar weight linen canvas probably in the 20th century. The lining is in good condition. The stretcher is not original and probably dates from the lining treatment. It has five members with square mortice joints and provision for keying out. The means of attachment of canvas to the stretcher could not be examined as covered by the frame rebate, so it is not known whether the original turnover edges were retained or removed at the time of lining.
Ground: Close examination suggests that the oil ground or priming layer is a pale pink colour. This is visible where left exposed along the left hand side of the ruin and at the site of a small paint loss at lower right in the foreground.
Paint Film: Any impasto in the paint layers has been flattened by pressure applied during the lining treatment. Much of the upper sky has also been affected by heat during the lining process, leading to minor wrinkling and the imposition of texture from a facing material. No major damages or repairs to the paint film or support are visible under ultra violet light, but minor old retouches are visible in the water at lower left. No retouches are present in the area of the signature. More recent retouches are present just above the right-hand end of the fallen column, possibly to disguise a raised slub in the canvas, and also around a small loss of paint and ground below the ruin alongside one of the rocks in centre right foreground.
Surface film: A thick layer of varnish overlies the whole painting giving a yellowish cast to the work. Under UV light this appears as an even and continuous layer of aged natural resin.
09/11/2016