Collection online

drawing / album

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Nn,2.14

  • Description

    A Sepulchre by the roadside going from Rome, Ponte Lamentana (Nomentano ?) formerly part of an album; raised up on r, ruined structure of brick and plaster with sheep grazing in front and shepherd resting at base. 1780 Pen and black ink and watercolour

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1780
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 327 millimetres
    • Width: 378 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed and dated: "F. Towne delt Rome No 20 Dec. 12. 1780" and verso: "Rome/Drawn on the Spot/by/Francis Towne/1780/From 2 O Clock till 4/ A Sepulchre by the Road side going from /Rome to Ponta Lamentana"
  • Curator's comments

    From album NN,02.1-32
    See Nn,1.1 for information about the Towne albums as a whole.

    For the inscription, see: Richard Stephens, 'Francis Towne's Views of Rome', British Art Journal, X, no. 3, 2010, p. 46-7, repro. fig. 2 where he notes that Towne was already inscribing his drawings with notes and when he arrived in Rome he began to add the hours of the day, as here. But he only added this type of note to a distinct portion of the drawings (21 out of 54).

    A similar-sized watercolour derived from this drawing and dated 1786 was sold in 1997. This was No. 6 of a group of watercolours, probably done on commission, which Towne then exhibited at his one-man retrospective in 1805.

    The following label was written by Richard Stephens for the Towne exhibition in 2016:
    This is a ruin known as the 'Sedia del Diavolo' a couple of miles north of Rome. It was well-known to British artists through the paintings Richard Wilson had made of it. In 1786 Towne made a copy of this watercolour (see the illustration to right), perhaps for the merchant Thomas Snow (1748-1832) who purchased eleven of Towne's Roman views for his house at Cleve, near Exeter. Such pictures made for purposeful home decoration as they carried with them a message of the transience of man's achievements.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Binyon 1898-1907 1(8b) bibliographic details
    • Bury 1962 1(8b) bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British Imp PIIIb)

  • Exhibition history

    2016 Jan-Aug, BM, 'Light, Time, Legacy: Francis Towne's watercolours of Rome' (no catalogue)

  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1816

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    Nn,2.14

  • Additional IDs

    • 1972,U.610
A Sepulchre by the roadside going from Rome, Ponte Lamentana (Nomentano ?) formerly part of an album; raised up on r, ruined structure of brick and plaster with sheep grazing in front and shepherd resting at base. 1780 Pen and black ink and watercolour

Recto

A Sepulchre by the roadside going from Rome, Ponte Lamentana (Nomentano ?) formerly part of an album; raised up on r, ruined structure of brick and plaster with sheep grazing in front and shepherd resting at base. 1780 Pen and black ink and watercolour

Image description

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