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Tivoli: The Temple of the Sibyl and the Campagna - I
Tate, London 2014
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Tivoli: The Temple of the Sibyl and the Campagna - I
c.1765-70 (undated)
Oil on canvas
101.5 X 127 cm
40 x 50 in.
The town of Tivoli is seen from the north east across the gorge of the river Aniene (or 'Anio'), with the Roman Campagna and the city of Rome itself in the distance. To the left, on the cliff edge, is a small cluster of ancient buildings. These include the circular Roman Temple of Vesta and the rectangular Temple of the Tiburtine Sibyl.
London, Agnew, May-June 1937 (11)
Captain T.A. Tatton, M.C., J.P., Cuerden Hall, Preston, sold Christie's, 20 November 1936 (36), bt Thomas Agnew & Sons (#8012, £73.10); 3 June 1937, E.F. Collingwood; Sotheby's 11 July 1962 (112); accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of tax and allocated to the Tate Gallery, April 1973
Unsigned; no inscripton
Linen thread canvas, 14 threads per sq m, simple. The tree was painted in first and the background later.
[1] Lower part of cross member: No 57
[1] Agnew's
Tivoli is about 20 kilometres from Rome, on the lower slopes of the Sabine Hills. Its finest ruin, the so-called Temple of Vesta (also known as the Temple of the Tiburtine Sibyl), is a circular building dating from the first century BC. Situated dramatically above the a precipice and cascade, it has been admired by artists since the 16th century because of its picturesque location and became a famous site for Grand Tourists to visit. It is viewed here from the north-east.
D165 Landscape with a Palace at the Summit of a Mountain, Victoria & Albert Museum (Dyce.656)
D244 The Falls at Tivoli, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
E15 William Byrne after Wilson, 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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There is an overall hardness to some of the outlines
WGC, p. 223, pl. 115a; Solkin 1982, p. 183 under 66
By the first century BC, Tivoli (the classical town of Tibur) was a favourite resort of Rome's elite, including the Emperor Augustus and the poet Horace.
Rather yellowed discolouration