DAVID ROBERTS, R.A. | THE MOORISH TOWER AT SEVILLE, CALLED THE GIRALDA
The Property of the Downside Abbey General Trust
DAVID ROBERTS, R.A.
Edinburgh 1796 - 1864 London
THE MOORISH TOWER AT SEVILLE, CALLED THE GIRALDA
oil on canvas
unframed: 196.5 x 136.4 cm.; 77½ x 53¾ in.
framed: 212 x 152 cm.; 83½ x 59¾ in.
Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
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The following condition report is provided by Hamish Dewar who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's:
The canvas has been lined and appears to be structurally sound and secure. I did not remove
the painting from the frame for the purpose of this examination and did therefore not examine
the turnover edges.
The paint surface has an uneven and discoloured varnish layer and should respond very well to
cleaning. I would be very confident of a considerable colour change and a great improvement
in the overall appearance.
Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms how discoloured the varnish layers have become
and shows scattered retouchings. The more recent retouchings fluoresce clearly, particularly
those around the framing edges, fine lines infilling craquelure and thicker lines applied to
highlight the contours of the figures, but others are barely discernible beneath the opaque
varnish layers. The fine details of the composition appear to be well preserved. There is no
doubt that should the retouchings be removed during the cleaning process, they could be
considerably reduced with more minimal and careful retouching. There is an underlying
pattern of entirely stable drying craquelure and paint separation which is very characteristic of
The painting would therefore appear to be in good and stable condition and could be transformed
by cleaning, restoration and revarnishing.
"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."
Bought from the artist in 1834 by George Goodin Barrett (1792–1854) for £115.10;
By whom sold, London, Christie’s, 23 February 1839, lot 119, to Hodgson;
Richard Hodgson, FRAS, FRMS (1804–1872);
By whom sold, London, Christie’s, 20 April 1844, lot 43, to Creswick;
Lewis Loyd (1811–1891), Monks Orchard, Beckenham, Kent, by 1852;
By descent to Captain E.N.F. Loyd, Shaw Hill, Melksham, Wiltshire;
His sale, London, Christie’s, 30 April 1937, lot 79, to Baird for £25.4;
Mrs Innes Moore, 15 Royal Crescent, Bath;
By whom gifted to the Abbot of Downside, circa 1949.
David Roberts’ Record Books, 1821–1864, Yale Center for British Art, number 58;
The Athenaeum, 1834, pp. 227 and 258;
Literary Gazette, 19 March 1834, p. 227;
The Times, 24 March 1834, p. 5;
The Athenaeum, 1857, p. 566;
Art Journal, 1858, p. 202;
J. Ballantine, The Life of David Roberts R.A., Edinburgh 1866, pp. 61, 69, 74 and 248, cat. no. 67;
H. Guiterman et al., Artist Adventurer. David Roberts 1796–1864, Scottish Arts Council, exh. cat., Edinburgh 1981, p. 19, reproduced;
K. Sim, David Roberts R.A., London 1984, pp. 97, 99 and 101–2;
H. Guiterman and B. Llewellyn, David Roberts, exh. cat., Oxford 1986, p. 111, cat. no. 104, reproduced in colour p. 46, pl. 38;
F. Calvo Serraller and J. Portus, Iconografia de Sevilla, 1790–1868, vol. III, Madrid 1991.
London, Society of British Artists, 1834, no. 162;
Manchester, Royal Institution, 1841, no. 87;
Manchester, Art Treasures of Great Britain, 1857, no. 536;
Birmingham, City Museum and Art Gallery, Scottish Arts Council, 21 June – 26 July 1981; London, Fine Art Society, 3 August – 26 August 1981; Glasgow, Paisley Museum and Art Gallery, 9 September – 3 October 1981; Dundee, City Museum and Art Gallery, 17 October – 14 November 1981; and Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Art Centre, 12 December – 9 January 1982, Artist Adventurer, David Roberts 1796–1864, no. 1;
London, Barbican Art Gallery, David Roberts, 6 November 1986 – 4 January 1987, no. 104.