Lot 33
  • 33

ANTONIO JOLI | Rome, a view of the Piazza del Popolo;Rome, a view of the Tiber with the Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter's Basilica beyond

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  • Antonio Joli
  • Rome, a view of the Piazza del Popolo;Rome, a view of the Tiber with the Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter's Basilica beyond
  • Asking Price: $1,750,000both oil on canvas


Thomas Henry Allen Poynder (1814-1873), Hartham Park, Wiltshire, by 1855 when Thomas Poynder took a fifteen year lease of Hartham from Lord Methuen;
Thence by descent to his grandson, Sir John Dickson-Poynder, Bart., later 1st Baron Islington, GCMG, GBE, DSO (1866-1936), Hartham Park, Wiltshire, until 1922 and then probably at Rushbrooke Hall, Suffolk;
Thence by inheritance to his widow, Anne Dundas, later Lady Islington (1869-1958), Rushbrooke Hall, Suffolk, and then possibly at Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire;
Thence by family descent until sold, London, Sotheby's, 7 July 2005, lot 50;
There acquired.


Bristol, Bristol City Art Gallery, on long term loan circa 1958-1961.


Messrs. Winkworth & Co., 12 Curzon Street, Mayfair, W, An Inventory of the Fixtures, Furniture, Pictures, Ornaments & Effects upon the Premises, Hartham, Corsham, Wiltshire. The Property of The Right Hon.ble Lord Islington, MS. dated August 1910, vol. II, p. 405, as hanging in the Drawing Room, under 'Pictures': 'Pair of oil paintings by G. Vanvitel 1647/ in massive carved gilt frames/ *'Dagli Occhiali'/ 'Views of Rome'.'

Catalogue Note

This fine pair of Roman views by Antonio Joli are precisely the kind of pictures which would have been commissioned and collected by the British aristocracy travelling to Italy on the Grand Tour. Although the early provenance for this pair of Roman views is not known, the fact that they are in matching English gilt frames, datable to circa 1840, suggests that they may indeed have been painted for a British patron. The View of the Tiber with the Castel Sant'Angelo was one of Joli's most popular views and was repeated by the artist on a number of occasions, though he introduced differences in the format, viewpoint, and staffage of each representation.1 The boat at lower centre with a gondolier and two seated figures reappears almost identically in the majority of Joli's versions of the subject, but other details remain unique to this particular representation: the yacht at lower left, for example, adds interest to the foreground area (even though its presence is entirely fantastical, for it could never pass beneath the Ponte Sant'Angelo). By contrast, only a couple of variants of the View of Piazza del Popolo are known to exist in Joli's œuvre, despite it being one of the most recognizable squares in Rome and one of the most-painted by vedutisti. Except for Joli's set of views of Rome and Venice painted for Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, the only other known panoramic view of Piazza del Popolo by the artist is a signed and dated canvas of 1759, formerly with Galleria Apolloni, Rome.2 

These paintings were most likely already at Hartham Park when Sir John Poynder-Dickson inherited it in 1888, and they were certainly there in 1910 when a manuscript inventory lists them, under the erroneous attribution of Vanvitelli, as hanging in the Drawing Room (see Literature). Hartham had been leased by Poynder's grandfather in 1855 from Lord Methuen of Corsham Court. 

Sir John Dickson-Poynder was a distinguished politician and colonial administrator.  In 1884, he became 6th Baronet and on inheriting his maternal grandfather's property, he assumed the additional surname of Poynder and settled at Hartham Park in Wiltshire where the Poynder lands were extensive. In 1892, he was elected as the conservative member for the Chippenham division and married Anne Dundas in 1896.  In 1910, he was appointed Governor-General of New Zealand, a post he held for two years and in the same year was created Baron Islington of Islington. Whilst maintaining Hartham until 1922, the Islingtons also had residences in Sussex and London, and purchased Rushbrooke Hall in Suffolk to save it from demolition.  Lady Islington inherited the paintings after her husband’s death on 6 December 1936 but it is not known where they might have hung. Lady Islington was one of the most admired 'leaders of fashionable taste' and belonged to a group of women known as 'The Lady Decorators.'

1 M. Manzelli, Antonio Joli opera pittorica, Venice 1999, pp. 89-93, nos R.1-22, reproduced figs 54-63 and color plates XXVI-XXVIII.
2 Manzelli 1999, p. 96, nos R. 39 and R. 40.