Sir Charles Lock Eastlake

The Colosseum from the Esquiline

1822

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 527 x 654 mm
frame: 712 x 844 x 90 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1964
Reference
T00664

Display caption

Eastlake began his career as a painter but turned to arts administration, becoming Director of the National Gallery in 1851. The sale of an early picture for a thousand guineas financed some years in Rome from 1816, where he joined an international circle of artists including the sculptors Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorwaldsen, the German Nazarenes and students of the French Academy with whom he sketched outdoors from nature. His habit of painting even in bright sunshine won him the nickname ‘the Salamander’. From plein air studies he painted small pictures of Roman scenery like this view of the Colosseum.

Gallery label, February 2016

Catalogue entry

Sir Charles Eastlake 1793–1865

T00664 View of the colosseum from the esquiline 1822

Not inscribed.
Oil on canvas, 20¾ x 25¾ (52.5 x 65.5).
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1964.
Coll: Painted for Greville Howard of Levens Hall, Westmorland. . . . Colonel M. H. Grant, by 1932; Luther Antiques, acquired with the Grant Collection 1962; sold to the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1964.
Exh: Early Devon Painters, Exeter, July–September 1932 (228 and 229 with No. T00665 as ‘A pair of views of the Coliseum’, lent by Colonel M. H. Grant); The First Hundred Years of the Royal Academy, R.A., Winter 1951–52 (265); Italian Art and Britain, R.A., Winter 1960 (234).
Lit: Eastlake, II, 1870, p. 194; M. H. Grant, Old English Landscape Painters, II, 1926, p. 327, repr. pl. 193.
Repr: Apollo, LXXVI, 1963, advertisement, p. iv.

Lady Eastlake’s ‘Memoir’ in Eastlake, II, 1870, p. 100, states that Eastlake remained in Rome during the heat of the summer in 1821 and 1822 and the landscapes he painted there had a considerable influence on other landscape painters. In the list of his works given at the end of the Memoir (p. 193) four other views of the Colosseum occur, dated 1820 and 1821. The present pair are described as follows: ‘View of Coliseum from English College Garden’ and ‘View of Coliseum from Moronite Convent’, both painted for Mr. Greville Howard. No other record of the pictures has been traced prior to their appearance in the collection of Colonel Grant.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.

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