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Richard Wilson RA, 1713/4–1782, British, active in Italy (1750–56)
William Hodges, 1744–1797, British

Italian sketchbook

Additional Title(s):

View of the Falls and Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli

p. 23: Study in Durham Yard before the Adelphi was Built. By Wm. Hodges, Pupil to Richard Wilson in 1765

Part Of:

Collective Title: Italian Sketchbook

Graphite with white and black chalk on medium, rough, blued white wove paper, bound in vellum
Sheet: 11 1/8 x 8 1/4 inches (28.3 x 21 cm)

Inscribed in black chalk, center: "Brockwell Bushes near Mr. Broc | kmans in Kent"; below in brown ink, center: "The gift of O. Bowles. | to his Dear friend | Sir George Beaumont. | Decr. ["r" in superscript] 1784."; at the end of the volume, in black chalk, upper center: "Questo Libro e de Monsu Wilson a la | Caffe delli Inglesi nella Piazza de Spagnia | Roma."

Signed and dated in pen and brown ink on fly-leaf, upper center: "Studies by R. Wilson | at Rome 1754"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors-Sketchbooks
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | figure study | Grand Tour | landscape | still life | temple | water | woman
Associated Places:
Europe | Italy | Lazio | Roma | Tivoli
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IIIF Manifest:

For the British artist studying in Italy, the sketchbook was a crucial tool. Three on "classic ground" the act of drawing focused the attention and aided the understanding. Back in Britain the sketchbook provided not only a record of the art and landscape encountered but also a repertoire of poses, figural groupings, and compositional ideas from the ancients and the masters of the Renaissance and Baroque or of richly evocative landscape elements that could be incorporated into their own art.

Richard Wilson's sketchbook of 1754 is the second of two extant sketchbooks from his years in Italy. The earlier sketchbook (Victoria and Albert Museum), dated 1752 includes both quick studies from nature and imaginary landscape compositions of his own invention. Such landscape capriccios are absent from the later sketchbook, which is largely devoted to sensitive and more highly finished studies in chalk of antique sculpture, copses and gnarled trees, and recognizable views of Rome and Campagna, such as the drawing of Tivoli shown here. The falls at Tivoli, with the circular temple known as the Temple of the Sybil perched above was one of the most popular motifs for foreign landscape artists in Italy.

Gallery label for The Line of Beauty: British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-05-19 - 2001-08-05)

Richard Wilson and the British Arcadia, April 29-June 25, 2010, Richard L. Feigen & Co. , Richard L. Feigen & Co., New York, 2010, pp. [48, 50], see cat. no. 6, cat. no. 6, fig. 4, NJ18.W72 R53 2010 (YCBA)

Greg Smith, Thomas Jones (1742-1803) : an artist rediscovered, , Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2003, p. 123, no. 30, pl. no. 30, NJ18 J714 T56 2003 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Scott Wilcox, Line of beauty : British drawings and watercolors of the eighteenth century, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p. 127, cat. no. 106, NC228 W53 2001 (YCBA)

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