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Roman Campagna with Figures
The Art Institute of Chicago, The Leonora Gurley Memorial
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Roman Campagna with Figures
Dated 1756
Black chalk and stump over graphite with white highlights on blue laid paper, faded to brown. A ruled lining in black chalk all round
169 x 216 mm
6 5/8 x 8 1/2 in.
Between framing trees travellers are approaching the bank of a river, presumably the Tiber, which runs across the centre ground parallel with the picture plane. The most prominent figure is being led on horseback and to her left two figures are resting. On the far bank are a tower and other buildings, silhouetted against a distant mountain.
Leonora Gurley; acquired by the Art Institute, 1922
[1] Originally signed beneath the ruled lining, lower left: R.W.f. [mostly cut away]
[2] Inscribed lower right: Romae 1756.
[1] Recto lower right: Leonora Gurley
[1] Upper centre, pencil: Circle of R. Wilson / JRR
[2] Upper centre, pencil, same hand as above: by Wilson / FR / (signed lower left)
[4] Lower left corner: two illegible words in a modern hand, perhaps initials
[5] Lower left corner, black ink: 22.2960
The figures to the left by the rock could be soldiers with halberds, adding a touch of Salvator Rosa to the scene, or more probably, travellers or pilgrims with their staffs.
Good condition overall, with some slight spotting. There is a torn edge at the upper left and the base has been cut unevenly, excluding most of the monogram lower left.