In 1842, Callow’s first full year back in England, he submitted seven works to the exhibition. Amongst these was a picture entitled View of Como1 and it is quite possible that the present watercolour and that are one and the same.
In the autumn of 1840, Callow had made his first visit to Italy. It was an extensive tour, which took him to many major cities, including Venice and Rome. He reached Lake Como soon after crossing the Alps at Geneva and in his autobiography, he described passing a number of enjoyable days there, exploring the lake by boat and sketching 'all the next day' at the shore-side village of Como itself.1 At Birmingham City Art Gallery, there is a fine ‘on-the-spot’ pencil drawing of the lake and town, which must have acted as a prototype for the present work.
1. Ed. H.M. Cundall, William Callow, An Autobiography, London 1908, p. 76
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