DAVID ROBERTS, R.A.
CASTLE AND BRIDGE OF ST. ANGELO, ROME
signed and dated l.l.: David Roberts. R.A. 1860; inscribed on the reverse: To Dear Christine on her Birthday
oil on panel
25 by 61cm., 9¾ by 24in.
The panel is providing a good stable support.
There are some very fine vertical surface cracks, visible to the sky in the upper centre of the composition. Some surface dirt. Otherwise, the work appears to be in very good original condition.
UV light inspection reveals no evidence of any retouching or restoration.
Held in a decorative gilt frame.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Gifted by the artist to his daughter Mrs Christine Bicknell, on the occasion of her birthday 1860;
Henry Sanford Bicknell, by whom sold, Christie’s, London, 9 April 1881, lot 347, where purchased by “Vokins” for 315gns;
Mrs Fitzgerald, by whom sold, Sotheby’s, London 20 November 1963, lot 73, where purchased by “Agnew”;
Private collection, purchased in 1977, and thence by descent
London, South Kensignton, International Exhibition, 1874, no.77, lent by Henry Sanford Bicknell
J. Ballantine, The Life of David Roberts R.A., Edinburgh, 1866, p.203 & p.253, no.247;
K. Sim, David Roberts R.A., 1796-1864, A Biography, London, 1984, pp.297-8;
H. Guiterman and B. Llewellyn, David Roberts, exh.cat, Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1986, p.122
The present lot is a version of a larger view of Rome from the Tiber, also painted by Roberts in 1860 and now in the collection of Leeds Museums and Galleries at Temple Newsham House. Roberts painted this smaller version as a birthday present for his daughter Christine, as was his custom every year. Rome was a favoured subject of the artist and in 1860 he painted no less than eleven Italian views, all of which were sold.
'I cannot attempt to give any general description of Rome, but the objects of interest far exceed my expectations. The vast remains of theatres, baths and temples are magnificent, while the delicious climate, and the picturesque costumes of the people, render the place very attractive ... The city, with St. Peter's, the Vatican, and the castle of St. Angelo, seemed bathed in floods of living fire.' (Roberts' letter to his daughter Christine, quoted in J. Ballantine, The Life of David Roberts R.A., Edinburgh, 1866, p.179)