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Ariccia - I
Tate, London 2014
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Ariccia - I
c.1752-56 (undated)
Oil on canvas
49.6 x 63.5 cm
19 1/2 x 25 in.
N01097
P46
On the left a road runs uphill through a dark wood towards a distant convent [?]. On the right is a rocky outcrop with a cave below. Three figures have stopped at a rock to its left and are bathed in light, which also illuminates the outcrop. A dead tree lies in the right foreground and the scene is set against a bright cloudy sky above.
Captain Hamilton sale, bt Thomas Hollis (£10.10s.); presented by Thomas Hollis to the British Museum, 8 May 1761; transferred 1880 with three other pictures and presented by the Trustees of the British Museum to the National Gallery; transferred to Tate Gallery
Signed in monogram to right of boulder, right side: RW [R in reverse]; no inscription
Located between the lakes of Nemi and Albano on the Via Appia Nuova, south-east of Rome, Ariccia was celebrated for its groves, thought to have been the hunting grounds of the goddess Diana. The area had been a haunt of Gaspard Dughet (1615-1675). whom Wilson greatly admired.
D224 View at Ariccia, near Albano, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
D282 A Church at Ariccia, Private Collection, England
D282A Landscape near Rome, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery
D326 Ariccia near Rome, The British Museum (1881,0212.24)
E72/11 Thomas Hastings after Wilson, View of Lareci near Rome, The British Museum (1854,0708.68) and other impressions
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P87 Ariccia - II, Collection of the Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House, Wiltshire
Gaspard Dughet, Landscape in the Roman Campagna, c.1670 (probably in Corsini collection, Rome, by 1787), National Gallery, London (NG 68)
On 26 October 1761 Thomas Hollis wrote in his Diary: 'Mr Wilson, the Landskip Painter breakfasted with me, and thanked me, handsomely, for having presented a Landskip picture of his, which I had bought at Capt. Hamilton's sale of pictures [Prestage & Hobbs, 21 February 1761 (42)] for £10-10. to the British Museum.'
P46 differs from P46A and P46B in having figures grouped in the centre foreground rather than at the mouth of the cave, and in the absence of a prominent milestone.
T. Hollis, unpublished Diary, 26 October 1761; Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, 1780, I, 222; WGC, p. 193, under pl. 67b; Solkin 1982, under 89; Wilson and Europe 2014, fig.66
Dimensions in frame: 63 x 78 cm. In poor condition. Foreground is covered with severe cracking apparently due to the use of a bituminous earth varnish.
Visual examination and sampling by Ann Baxter in 1982, who noted: 16 x 20 threads per sq cm. The outline of the right-hand tree has been changed. Two distinct layers of highly pigmented blue were found in the sky, an upper one of fine ultramarine and a lower one of Prussian blue. The red ground is probably the artist's priming, containing red earth, white and black. Overall tonality is very dark. Attribution to Wilson questioned despite the signature.
Kate Lowry has noted: Linen canvas with unusual weave similar to P60 Temple of the Minerva Medici, Private Collection, England. Red ground, probably the artist's own priming.
08/02/2021