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Cicero's Villa (On the Strada Nomentana - III)
Koriyama City Museum of Art (Fukushima Prefecture, Japan)
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Cicero's Villa (On the Strada Nomentana - III)
Oil on Canvas
95.4 x 141.2 cm
37 9/16 x 55 19/32 in.
P106A
Rural scene looking past the ruins of 'Cicero's Villa' in Italy and out towards a lake and landscape. In the foreground, a woman and child rest beside the water's edge as a horse is led towards them. In the background, hills can be seen to the right and in the distance. The sun sets on the horizon, casting a haze over the landscape.
BI 1841 (122); BI 1843 (172 - A grand Italian Landscape with a ruined Temple, on a woody height above a river; a woman and child; and a man leading a horse in the foreground - lent by William Wells); Noortman & Brod, 18th and 19th Century British Paintings, New York, April - May, London, June - Jul;y 1983 (28)
Earl of Kerry 1810; Mr Hodges of Bath; bt Scroope (150 gns); bt John Wells for William Wells of Redleaf (200 gns); his sale, Christie's, 20 May 1852, bt White; Spink and Co., London, 1931 (£350); Sir Robert Abdy, Bart; Private Collection, England; Christie's London, 19 November 1976 (159), bt P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., Ltd; Koriyama City Museum, 1988
Signed on the antique altar [?] lower left: RW [in ligature, the R reversed]
Cicero owned a number of villas in Italy but none is identifiable here and the title is probably fanciful.
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W.G. Constable noted of P106 that the title, which has no authority, has led to confusion with the paintings of Cicero at his Villa (P162 & versions) and the Bay of Baiae from Posillipo with Cicero's Villa (P186). Also, because of the likeness of the ruin and its setting to those in the Strada Nomentana paintings (P104 & P105), the present composition too has been given that title. He rightly observed that the ruin is more like the remains of a tomb than a villa.
Farington Diary, vol. 10, p. 3643, 27 April 1810; WGC, p. 197, under pl. 75a
16/11/2020