- Museum number
View on the Hollow Road near the Arco Oscuro, looking towards the Villa Medici, formerly part of an album; looking down road, flanked by rocks covered in vegetation,roof tiles of Villa in left distance. 1780
Brush drawing in grey and brown wash and watercolour, with pen and black ink outlines
- Production date
Height: 318 millimetres
Width: 470 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- From album NN,02.1-32
See Nn,1.1 for information about the Towne albums as a whole.
According to Richard Stephens, this watercolour was exhibited in 1805. He also notes that another version of it was made for Mrs Fortescue of Buckland House, Devon amongst several other views of Rome which were delivered to her in January 1786. (Information from Sotheby's 14 July 2010, lot 64, which was her version of this drawing). Towne was fascinated with the rural landscape that then surrounded the Villa Medici in Rome, which was the property of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany during the eighteenth century. Towne produced a number of drawings in this area (see also Nn.2.20) for several days towards the end of November 1780. His choice of motif in watercolours like these is not very different from his pre-Italian period, when he made studies of trees and foliage in Devonshire and Wales. In the distance are the distinctive turrets of the Villa Medici.
The following label was written by Richard Stephens for the Towne exhibition in 2016:
Towne returned to England in 1781 having made a large collection of views of famous sites in Italy. For the remainder of the 1780s, the main role of his Italian watercolours was as sources for copies that Towne's clients commissioned him to make. In this case - as Towne noted on the back of the mount - Mrs Fortescue of Buckland House, Devon, ordered a copy. As a former pupil, Ann Fortescue (1755-1815) was especially receptive to Towne's work, and she purchased four Roman views.
For other views near the Arco Oscuro by Towne see Nn,1.11, Nn,2.20, Nn,1.14, Nn,2.24 and Nn,2.23.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1981 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)
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1972,U.614