View full screen - View 1 of Lot 58. The Ruin of the Torre de' Schiavi in the Roman Campagna.
58

George Heming Mason, A.R.A.

The Ruin of the Torre de' Schiavi in the Roman Campagna

Estimate:

2,000

to
- 3,000 GBP

George Heming Mason, A.R.A.

George Heming Mason, A.R.A.

The Ruin of the Torre de' Schiavi in the Roman Campagna

The Ruin of the Torre de' Schiavi in the Roman Campagna

Estimate:

2,000

to
- 3,000 GBP

Lot sold:

4,032

GBP

George Heming Mason, A.R.A.

1818 - 1872

The Ruin of the Torre de' Schiavi in the Roman Campagna


oil on card laid down on board

17.8 x 37.4 cm.

The card is laid down on board and has been unevenly cut, visible along the lower edge. There is a repaired tear, in the shape of a half semicircle, to the lower left corner, measuring approximately 11cm. The surface is slightly dirty. There are some small brush hairs caught in the varnish layer along the lower left edge. There is a small diagonal surface abrasion, with some resultant paint loss, below the ruin.

UNDER ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT There are some minor specks of fluorescing in the sky, including a fine line above the ruin. There is some fluorescing to the repair.


"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."

James Stewart Hodgson (1827-1899);
Agatha, Marchioness of Sligo (1866-1965).

In 1849 George Heming Mason’s brother fought for the unification of Italy with Garibaldi and it was this brother who introduced Mason to Giovanni Costa, with whom he had fought and gone into hiding in the Roman campagna. Costa and Mason immediately became firm friends and shared a love of painting the countryside around Rome. They greatly influenced each other’s work and would make sketching trips into the campagna which lasted for weeks, with the artists sleeping in the open air and making vivid sketches of the landscape and people around them. In 1853 they met Frederic Leighton, then resident in the capital, and formed a small group of artists known as the Etruscans which also included George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle.


The present expressive sketch depicts the 3rd century tomb known in the 19th century as the Torre de' Schiavi (Tower of the Slaves), part of the complex of ruins associated with the Villa Gordiani along the via Prenestina in the countryside outside Rome. It was painted by Edward Lear, Turner and Leighton along with countless other artists drawn to the romantic decrepitude of the once glorious structure surrounded by an expanse of pastoral campagna. A note on the reverse of this picture states that it was painted in 1873 but it most likely dates from twenty years earlier (Mason died in 1872).


James Stewart Hodgson met Mason through their mutual friendship with Leighton. When Mason was suffering from severe depression and financial hardship in the later 1850s and 1860s Leighton called on Hodgson to help their suffering friend. It is likely that this sketch and others were given to Hodgson as tokens of gratitude and affection for his generosity.