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The Bridge of Augustus at Rimini (Roman Bridge at Rimini)
Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Bridge of Augustus at Rimini (Roman Bridge at Rimini)
c.1758-59 (undated)
Oil on canvas
47 x 71.1 cm
18 1/2 x 28 in.
The Ponte d'Augusto crosses the River Marecchia at Rimini and in the distance is the hill of the Republic of San Marino. The bridge, with two buildings at one end to the left, spans the centre of the composition, the river extending from it to fill most of the left foreground. Above its banks on the left, some buildings can be seen in the shadow. In the right foreground, beyond a bank of low rocks, is a shelving beach in sunlight, on which a woman and a kneeling man handle some washing. To the left another kneeling figure washes linen in the river. A dense clump of trees stands on the right. Beyond the bridge rises a low ridge, with a hill in the background.
Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand, Old Master Paintings from the Private and Public Collections of New Zealand, 1959 (18)
Charles Austin, Brandeston Hall, Suffolk; with Tooth 1936; sold through Buttery to the Duke of Kent; Duchess of Kent, sold Christie's 14 March 1947 (65) bt Deane; acquired by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery through the National Art Collections Fund, 1947
The Ponte d'Augusto, built by the Emperor Augustus, leads out of Rimini near the triumphal arch, also dedicated to him, across the River Marecchia, to the ancient Via Emilia linking Rimini and Bologna. (See Related Drawings, D43). Commenced in 13 AD, a year before the emperor's death, it was completed later by his successor, Tiberius. With five arches, it was constructed of white Istrian limestone.
D41 The Bridge of Augustus at Rimini,Tate, London
D41A The Bridge of Augustus at Rimini, Private Collection, England
D43 The Arch of Augustus at Rimini, Private Collection, England
D46 The Bridge of Augustus at Rimini, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
E38 Joseph Farington after Wilson,Twelve Etchings of Views in Italy - Bridge of Augustus at Rimini, 1776, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven (B1977.14.21011(g)) and other impressions
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Based on drawings made on the spot during Wilson's journey from Venice to Rome, late 1751-52. The details of the architecture hint at Canaletto. The scene is populated with well observed and well painted figures.
WGC, p. 212 under pl. 99a (version 1); Tomory & Gaston 1989, p. 52, no. 144, repr.