- Museum number
The Temple of Vesta, formerly part of an album; cylindrical temple behind wall with courtyard in front. 1781
Pen and black ink and watercolour with grey wash
- Production date
Height: 387 millimetres
Width: 318 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- From album NN,01.1-25
See Nn,1.1 for information about the Towne albums as a whole.
Towne's sense of composition is seen here at its best; combined with clear, light colouring and great delicacy of penwork this is among the most refined of his Roman watercolours.The round temple, for long erroneously called the Temple of Vesta was in the eighteenth century the chuch of S.Maria del Sole. The so-called Temple of Fortuna Virilis is at the right, partly obscured by houses demolished in the nineteenth century. Beyond appears the mediaeval House of Crescentius.
The following label was written by Richard Stephens for the Towne exhibition in 2016:
This watercolour and the view to its left (Nn,1.15) were drawn on the same day and exhibit affinities in their approaches to composition. Both dispense with the more usual landscape format and present a compact main feature lit from the left, topped with a small point to draw the eye into the space. Having struggled with the local language in his early weeks and months in Rome, Towne tried out some Italian in his inscription on the back of the mount, naming this 'Temple of Vesta é Tempio della Fortuna Viele Oggi Chiesa di St. Maria.'
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1982 BM P&D, 'Francis Towne and John 'Warwick Smith', no cat.
2016 Jan-Aug, BM, 'Light, Time, Legacy: Francis Towne's watercolours of Rome' (no catalogue)
- Laid down in original wash-lined mount.
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1972,U.635