By the late 1780s he was in semi-retirement, preferring to make scientific instruments. However, a financial downturn may have prompted his production of six etched Views in Italy (1795; set of proof impressions in London, BM). He is also thought to have designed the seals for the original 13 United States of America. His achievement as a topographical painter lies in his technical versatility, which allowed him to encompass both the tranquil compositions and cool lighting of British scenes and the picturesque roughness and more intense light of Italian views.
William Marlow (exh. cat., ed. J. L. Howgego; London, Guildhall A.G., 1956)
M. Hardie: Water-colour Painting in Britain, i (London, 1966), pp. 170–71
M. J. H. Liversidge: ‘Six Etchings by William Marlow', Burl. Mag., cxxii (1980), pp. 549–53
British Watercolors: Drawings of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries from the Yale Center for British Art (exh. cat., ed. S. Wilcox; New Haven, CT, Yale Cent. Brit. A., 1985)
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