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drawing / album

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Nn,1.18

  • Description

    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

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1781
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 387 millimetres
    • Width: 318 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed and dated: "F. Towne. delt Rome June 27 1781 No 45" Verso inscribed: "Temple of Vesta e Tempio della Fortuna Virile Oggi Chiesa di St.Maria Rome Francis Town delt."
  • 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.'

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Binyon 1898-1907 2(17) bibliographic details
    • Bury 1962 2(17) bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British Imp PIIIb)

  • 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)

  • Condition

    Laid down in original wash-lined mount.

  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1816

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    Nn,1.18

  • Additional IDs

    • 1972,U.635
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

Recto

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

Image description

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Object reference number: PDB4851

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