Watercolor with gouache and graphite underdrawing
Support: Wove paper laid down on board
Sheet: 75.1 x 57.8 cm (29 9/16 x 22 3/4 in.)
Sundry Purchase Fund 2011.4
William Callow likely based the view seen in this drawing on sketches made during his first trip to Italy in 1840.
A meticulously finished, grand-scale presentation watercolor, this drawing was exhibited in 1859 at the Society of Painters in Water Colours in London. The view was taken from a low vantage point, foregrounding closely observed, moss-covered rocks amid the frothy cascade. Jewel-like, the Temple of Vesta surmounts the imposing cliff, gleaming white against a crisp, blue sky. The majesty of the view is underscored by the presence of nearly imperceptible figures in the far distance hanging linens to dry along the temple wall.
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