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Lake Albano (Composite Landscape with Lake Albano and Vesuvius)
Reproduced by permission of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Lake Albano (Composite Landscape with Lake Albano and Vesuvius)
c.1770 (undated)
Oil on canvas
99.5 x 152.3 cm
39 3/16 x 60 in.
FDA-P.119-2010
P118B
The view is from the east side of Lake Albano, with Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence, on the left and on the right, Monte Cavo with the Roman villa used by Marcus Aurelius. Between them on the shore is a prominent wayside shrine and in the distance lie the Roman Campagna with aqueducts and the Sabine Hills beyond. In the foreground, a woman, two children and a dog stand on a rocky hilltop and a woman ansd child are seated to their right. Beyond is Mount Vesuvius, translated from its natural site near Naples.
Probably Richard Hulse, Blackheath (d. 1805); Benjamin Booth; The Revd R.S. Booth; Lady (Marianne) Ford until after 1824; Sir Richard Sutton, Bart, Benham Park, Newbury, Berkshire; 1855 (probably) Sutton Trustees; sold Sutton Trustees, Benham Park, by Farebrother Ellis 7-11 May 1951 (1071); with Leggatt; with Gooden and Fox; or perhaps bought at auction, 29 June 1951; Private Collection; given by Kit Garnet, 1989
The work has a bluish-green colouration overall, combined with agitated brushwork in parts of the sky, which give it a sub-aqueous and imprecise look in the foreground. The figures are thickly impastoed. There are no details on the hillsides or of Castelgandolfo itself.
[1] White chalk down right vertical member of frame: G&F...29/6/51
[2] White chalk right vertical stretcher bar: 1071X1
[3] White chalk on upper horiozontal member of stretcher: 62
[4] Ink accession number on centre reverse of relined canvas: FDA-P.119-2010
[5] Faint pencil inscription upper left corner of stretcher: 438 [+ illegible word]
[1] Several small, numbered labels verso
[2] Paper label upside down top right, ink: 2
[3] Paper label attached to upper horizontal member of stretcher: 438
D163 Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
E72/39 Thomas Hastings, The Lake of Albano, 1824, The British Museum (1854,0708.96)
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The present painting seems to be a later autograph variant of P118 Lake Albano , National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. The mountains in the background have been enlarged, with the central one interpretable as
Vesuvius, which would make the work a capriccio. From close inspection the woman, who is playing a mandolin, may originally have been black and wearing a mask. According to WGC this was no. 52 in the list of Benjamin Booth's collection: 'Lake Albano (was Mr. Hulse's. Blackheath / Painted for him) 58 1/2 - 37 1/2'.
WGC, p. 191, pl. 65b; Eton 1440-1990, 1990 (105), pp. 108-9
The carved and gilded wooden frame may be contemporary. There is very little retouching, apart from strips down the sides, where rubbing has occurred. There are some small retouchings on the woman's face, the dog's back legs and perhaps the two small lying figures on the right of the foreground group. Kate Lowry has noted: Simple weave linen canvas lined onto similar weight canvas with glue adhesive. Original turnovers probably removed at time of lining. Ground tone is pale, possibly off-white. Paint film is generally thin allowing the tone of the ground to show through, especially in the lake and upper sky. More heavily painted areas are at the centre foreground and figures, the distant plain and the cloud masses in sky. Sky is painted down to the distant mountain and horizon. The pine stretcher probably dates from lining. Under UV no major damages visible. There are minor retouches to the lady's face (eye and chin) and to the back legs of the dog. Other minor retouches present in lower foreground dark centre and left. No obvious retouches in the sky. Possibly slight later strengthening of left hand mountain slope.