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The Temple of Clitumnus
Private Collection, Italy
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Temple of Clitumnus
c.1755 (undated)
Oil on canvas
61.5 x 75 cm
24 x 29 1/2 in.
Private Collection, Italy
P65A
Wilson described the essence of this view as 'the scenery taken from the long famed [Temple of] Clitumnus, near the once mystic temple of Juno which I have herein restored from its state in ruins, as seen near the source gently cascading into the streamlet, from whence flows that classic river. The period of time described produces the effects of those lights which succeed the dawn of day, interspersed with the vapours and subdued tints that accompany the morning atmosphere.'
Frederick Seymour Clarke, 40 Portman Square, London W.1; sold Christie's 10 February 1933 (40), bt Leggatt (£81.18s.); Major W.H.S. Alston, London; Colonel John Alston, Albany, Piccadilly London W.1; his sale, Christie's 20 June 1969 (109), bt Greenfield (£788); Sotheby's, 5 June 2008 (47), bt by present owner
Verso: 'The Sanctuary of the god Clitumnus, by the side of a small [/] river in Umbria, which springs from a beautiful rock in a [/] grove of cyprus trees, falling into the Tinia, a tributary [/] of the Tiber [/] RICHARD WILSON, R.A.
The setting is a temple supposedly once the sanctuary of the god, Clitumnus, near Spoleto in Umbria, which was converted into a Christian church in the 4th century A.D. stands besides the source of a spring from which rises the river also known as Clitumnus.
E8 Giuseppe Vasi after Wilson, Veduta del Tempio, e Fiume del Clitunno nello Stato presente, The British Museum
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[1] J.M.W. Turner, Wilson Sketchbook, 1796-97, p. pp. 78-79, Tate, London
WGC, p. 197, pl. 75b (3)