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Tivoli: Temple of the Sibyl and the Campagna - I (Tivoli and the Roman Campagna with a Man and Woman)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Tivoli: Temple of the Sibyl and the Campagna - I (Tivoli and the Roman Campagna with a Man and Woman)
Oil on canvas
102.6 x 127.6 cm
40 3/8 x 50 1/2 in.
The view is westward down the gorge of the River Anio, with the Roman Campagna in the distance. On the cliff to the left are the circular Temple of the Sibyl and the Temple of Tiburtius.
RA 1777 (378); RA Old Masters, 1879 (43 lent Hawley); Toronto, Art Gallery, November 1935; University of Pennsylvania 15 December 1960 - 15 February 1961; Detroit Institute of Art 26 March - 7 May 1961; North Carolina Museum of Art, Tercentenary Exhibition, 23 March - 28 April 1963 (TL.63.5.49)
Benjamin Booth; Lady Ford; Ford sale Christie's London 30-31 May 1809 (possibly 65, not sold, or 860); Joseph Gillott Birmingham; William Angerstein; sold Christie's (as Property of a Gentleman) 20 June 1874 (110), bt White; Sir Henry James Hawley 4th Baronet, Brighton; Orrock-Linton sale Christie's 25-27 April 1895 (281 An Italian Landscape with buildings and figures. From Lady Ford's Collection), withdrawn; J.R. Saunders, London; Mrs S.D. Warren; sold American Art Association, New York 8-9 January 1903 (117), bt S.P. Avery; bequest of Mrs Susan Cornelia Warren, 1903
Illegible marks on the tabernacle in the left foreground may have been legible as a 'W' in the past
There is a rococo feel in the colours and costume of the figures. The distance is filmy and sensitive. Some underdrawing (or underpainting) is visible in the left fork of the left tree to the right. Some areas of the trees are reserved out. Attention has been paid to the subsidiary figures and the horizon line has been brought down in the usual way. Architecture and trees to the upper left are rather skimpy. There are no birds in the sky.
[1] Red wax seal impression : FORD
Verso upper stretcher Old label: 122
Stretcher l.r.c.: North Carolina Museum of Art Tercentenary Exhibition label, 23 March - 28 April 1963
Stretcher u.l.c.: Old museum label
Stretcher u.r.c.: North Carolina loan label
D165 Landscape with a Palace at the Summit of a Mountain, Victoria & Albert Museum (Dyce.656)
E15 William Byrne, Tivoli: The Temple of the Sibyl and the Campagna (untitled), 1765, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven (B1984.21.429) and other impressions
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Gaspard Dughet Imaginary Landscape with Buildings in Tivoli, 1670, National Gallery London (NG 98)
The painting's size and the fact that it is the only known version with more than one dog correspond with the description in Booth's list of his own collection: '50 Sibyll's Temple Tivoli & Este's Villa with the Campagna Man & Woman & Greyhounds 50 -40'.
Booth Notes Doc. 5, p. 2; Booth Notes Doc. 9 (50); WGC, p. 222-23, pl. 115a (version 5); Herrmann 1973, p. 60; R. Dorment, British Painting in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1986, p. 427
This painting has an artist and spectator in the middle distance and two dogs in the foreground. The foremost man seems to be holding the woman's knitting needles and at her feet lies a ball of thread with a line running up some of her skirt.
Old varnish removed and new applied December 1945, December 1947, January 1950; rotted canvas relined with wax by Finlayson December 1962.