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Creator:
William Pars, 1742–1782, British
Title:

A View of Rome Taken from the Pincio

Date:
1776
Medium:
Watercolor, pen and gray ink, graphite and black crayon on moderately thick, moderately textured, blued white laid paper mounted on thick, moderately textured, cream wove paper
Dimensions:
17 15/16 x 24 1/8 inches (45.5 x 61.3 cm), 15 1/16 x 21 1/8 inches (38.3 x 53.6 cm), and 15 1/16 x 21 1/8 inches (38.3 x 53.6 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Inscribed on verso in graphite, upper right: "Cavallo at a distance."

Signed and dated in pen and black ink, lower left: "WPars, Rome 1776."

Watermarked, center on back (when read correct way around), written vertically downwards: "J HONIG | & | ZOONEN"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1977.14.4704
Classification:
Drawings & Watercolors
Collection:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | archways | bell towers | buildings | chimneys | churches | cityscape | figures | Grand Tour | hill | palazzo | patio | piazzas | pine | roofs | stairs | steps | terrace | terracotta | towers | trees | windows
Associated Places:
Church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti | Europe | Italy | Lazio | Monte Pincio | Palazzo del Quirinale | Roma | Rome | Spanish Steps
Access:
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:14312
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IIIF Manifest:
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According to Thomas Jones, Pars took advantage of the study grant offered by the Society of Dilettanti to escape England in the company of the wife of the miniaturist Samuel Smart, with whom he was having an affair. They arrived in Rome on 25 December 1775 and took lodgings near the Via del Babuino. His companion died of consumption in 1778; Pars died four years later as the result of having caught cold while sketching at Tivoli.
Pars’s watercolor, painted early in his stay in the city, shows the view from the Pincian Hill, not far from his lodgings, looking toward the church of Trinità dei Monti and the top of the Spanish Steps. Rising behind is the Palazzo del Quirinale, the papal summer residence. It was in the streets around the Piazza di Spagna that British artists and indeed many visiting artists from across northern Europe congregated. Pars masterfully gradates his watercolor tones not only to establish distance but to give an almost palpable sense of the heat and haze hanging over the city and the shimmer of sunlight on the tiled rooftops.

Scott Wilcox

Baskett, John, Jules David Prown, Duncan Robinson, Brian Allen, and William Reese. Paul Mellon's Legacy: A Passion for British Art. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art , 2007, cat. no. 49



In 1764 the Society of Dilettanti, an association of gentlemen formed to promote the appreciation of ancient art, commissioned the young classical scholar Richard Chandler to record the classical ruins of Asia Minor. William Pars, a twenty-two-year-old portrait painter, was chosen to accompany Chandler as draftsman. Pars's watercolors from the expedition were published by the Society in 1769 as illustrations to Chandler's account under the title Ionian Antiquities. The following year one of the Society's members, Lord Palmerston, asked Pars to accompany him on a tour of Switzerland. As part of Palmerston's entourage, Pars visited Rome for the first time.
In 1775 the Society of Dilettanti's first award to an artist for study in Rome Allowed Pars to return to the city. He lived there for the last seven years of his life, at the heart of a community pf visiting British watercolorists that included John "Warwick" Smith (cat. 74), Francis Towne (cat. 53), and Pars's watercolor of the view from the Pincian Hill, in which the heat and haze hanging over the city are almost palpable, shows the area around the Spanish steps where British artists in Rome congregated.

Scott Wilcox

Wilcox, Forrester, O'Neil, Sloan. The Line of Beauty: British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2001. pg. 121, cat. no. 100

The English Prize - The Capture of the Westmorland - An Episode of the Grand Tour (Yale Center for British Art, 2012-10-04 - 2013-01-13) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The English Prize - The Capture of the Westmorland - An Episode of the Grand Tour (Ashmolean Museum, 2012-05-17 - 2012-08-27) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy (Royal Academy of Arts, 2007-10-20 - 2008-01-27) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-04-18 - 2007-07-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-04-18 - 2007-07-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Line of Beauty : British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-05-19 - 2001-08-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

English Landscape (Paul Mellon Collection) 1630-1850 (Yale Center for British Art, 1977-04-19 - 1977-07-17) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 264, no. 49, pl. 49, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 272-3, fig. 10, N5220 M552 A7 1977 OVERSIZE (YCBA) Published as April 1977 issue of Apollo; all of the articles may also be found in bound Apollo Volume [N1 A54 105:2 +] [YCBA]

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 2, no. 49, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA) [YCBA]

Graham Reynolds, English Landscape 1630-1850, Apollo, vol.105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 272-3, fig. 10, N1 A54 105:2 + (YCBA) Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)] [YCBA]

The idea of Italy : photography and the British imagination, 1840-1900, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, p. 21, fig. 3, TR57 .I33 2022+ (YCBA) [YCBA]


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