- Museum number
Outlet of Emissario, one of several drawings of the tunnel made by the Romans in AD 52 to drain the Lacus Fucinus; a hillside of brush and boulders, in which towards the left, appears the mouth of a passage in the rock, over which a tail arch has been built, and from which a stream flows, two figures nearby
Black and white chalk, on pink-buff paper
- Production date
- 1750-1780 (circa)
Height: 261 millimetres
Width: 397 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This drawing, as well as Oo,5.6-7, depicts an entrance to the tunnel built by the Emperor Claudius in 52 AD in an attempt to drain the Lacus Fucius (Fucine Lake). They were all originally in the collection of the connoisseur Richard Payne Knight. Due to both the style of execution and location of the subject, it is highly unlikely that Richard Wilson executed this group of drawings. The handwriting of the inscription is also not Wilson’s.
It is possible that Payne-Knight acquired them on his Grand Tour in 1772, where they could have been sold as Wilson drawings to increase their value. Despite the lapse in time since Wilson’s departure from Italy, people such as Thomas Jenkins, who had been Wilson’s friend and dealer in Rome, continued to work there selling works by British artists to grand tourists passing through. Although Wilson was still living at this point, his star in Britain had begun to fade and his artistic output was declining. However, he was still known as an important artist of Italian landscape scenes and as such drawings of this type would have been sought after as souvenirs by grand tourists. Alternatively, Payne Knight could have acquired this group of drawings as part of a sale back in England, where they may have been confused with other works.
‘Richard Wilson Online’ reference number: NWD107
M. Clarke & Nicholas Penny, The Arrogant Connoisseur: Richard Payne Knight 1751-1824, Manchester University Press, 1982.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number