View full screen - View 1 of Lot 50. Rome, looking south-west towards Sant'Andrea della Fratte and The Palazzo Quirinale.

William Marlow

Rome, looking south-west towards Sant'Andrea della Fratte and The Palazzo Quirinale

Auction Closed

July 6, 10:38 AM GMT


6,000 - 8,000 GBP

Lot Details


William Marlow

London 1740 - 1813

Rome, looking south-west towards Sant'Andrea della Fratte and The Palazzo Quirinale

Watercolour over traces of pencil

252 by 393 mm

Please note that this watercolour is drawn on wove paper and is therefore likely to date from after Marlow’s tour to Italy.

This recently rediscovered watercolour, which captures with great freedom the contrasting colours and textures of Rome, was painted in 1765 or 1766 while Marlow was living in Italy.

Between 1754 and 1759 Marlow had been apprenticed to the view painter Samuel Scott (1702-1772) in London and from the early 1760s he began to exhibit at the Society of Arts' annual exhibitions. As with many painters of his generation, he was determined to see Italy and he was encouraged to do so by the Duchess of Northumberland. While there he stayed at Florence, Rome, Naples and Venice, before heading home, via the Alps and France.

The subject of the present lot is strikingly original, and demonstrates quite how much Marlow's experiences on the Grand Tour were to change him. With its view over a jumble of roof-tops, together with its close examination of the play of light across stone, brick and terracotta, it has much in common with the famous oils on paper that Thomas Jones painted while in Naples almost twenty years later.1

We are grateful for the help of the late Michael Liversidge in the cataloguing of this work.

1. See A. Sumner and G. Smith, Thomas Jones (1742-1830), An artist rediscovered, New Haven 2003, nos. 108-117