John Downman
View of Roof Tops, Nice 1773

Artwork details

John Downman 1750–1824
View of Roof Tops, Nice
Date 1773
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 265 x 367 mm
Acquisition Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

John Downman launched his career as a portrait painter, and is today best remembered for his small-scale portraits in coloured chalks. In 1773 he travelled to Italy by sea with Joseph Wright of Derby (no.29). They were forced to disembark at Nice on the southern French coast because of bad weather, and remained there for three weeks. This is an astonishingly unconventional landscape for its date made, as the inscription indicates, out of the artist's 'bedroom window ... on a bad day'. There are also three grey wash studies by Downman in the Oppé collection of the cave and shore at Nice.

September 2004