The Lake of Nemi

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The Lake of Nemi
The Lake of Nemi
The Lake of Nemi
The Trustees of the British Museum
title=Credit line
Thomas Hastings after Wilson
The Lake of Nemi
Published 1 January 1820
Etching on chine collé
Metric: 182 x 235 mm
Imperial: 7 1/8 x 9 1/4 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
The view is from the terrace of the Capuchin monastery near the hilltop town of Genzano about 20 kilometers south west of Rome. In the middle distance is the Palazzo Sforza Cesarini with the southern end of Lake Nemi to its left and a view of Monte Circeo and the Mediterranean beyond. Next to the palazzo are the church and bell tower of Santa Maria della Cima.
Bought from George Willis, Piazza, Covent Garden, 1854
Lettered below the image with the title, 'The Original is in the Possession of Lady Ford'; production details: 'Painted by R Wilson', 'Etched by T. Hastings | 1820.'; publication line above, centre: 'Published by T. Hastings as the Act directs Jan 1 1820.'
The volcanic Lake Nemi, surrounded by the wooded slopes of the Alban Hills, was spectacularly sited and much praised by ancient writers including Virgil and Ovid. It was also renowned for the sanctuary of the goddess Diana on its northern shore. Depicted on numerous occasions by Wilson, in the 17th century it had featured much in the paintings of his mentors, Claude Lorrain and Gaspard Dughet. Genzano (Genzano di Roma since 1873) is one of the Castelli Romani. The Cesarini family gained control of it in 1564. Livia Cesarini, last of the line, was the wife of Francesco II Sforza, after both of whom the palazzo depicted took its name.
Related Drawings
D280/6 Italian Sketchbook p. 7(r), Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven
D313 Capucins at Gensano (The Terrace of the Capuchin Monastery at Genzano), Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA
Related Paintings
P72 Lake Nemi and Genzano from the Terrace of the Capuchin Monastery, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Critical commentary
From a series of forty etchings after paintings by Richard Wilson and additional title page, bound in a volume in red tooled leather with gold decorative border, lettered on the spine with 'Wilson's | Etchings | by | Hastings'; the title page lettered in black and red: 'Etchings, | from the Works | of | [ facsimile of signature below portrait] Ric. Wilson | with Some Memoirs of his Life, &c. | by Thomas Hastings, Esq. | Collector of His Majesty's Customs. | "Non Ductus Officio Sed Amore Operis." Quintillian. | Published by Hurst, Robinson & Co. Cheapside, London. | Johnson, Typ. Apollo Press, 1825. Brook Street, Holborn'; containing twenty pages of Introductory and Concluding Remarks by the etcher, including descriptions of Richard Wilson's original paintings.
Previous Cat/Ref Nos
Hastings 1825, repr.; WGC, p. 209 under pl. 95a; Yule 2015, pp. 60 & 69
More Information
George Willis was an antiquarian book dealer, who occasionally published books and prints. His firm was active from 1832-1856 and sold many prints to the British Museum. In 1856 it merged with Thomas Sotheran to become Willis & Sotheran.
Updated by Compiler
2015-12-09 00:00:00