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Jones visited the excavations in the grounds of the Villa Negroni in July 1777, which had begun the previous month. He described the frescoes they discovered in the ancient domestic dwelling, as ‘painted Ornaments much in the Chinese taste’. At that time there was relatively little respect for the historical importance and context of such classical paintings, and Jones’s companion, the artist turned art dealer, Henry Tresham, purchased them for the Earl of Bristol. This oil sketch shows the site of the excavation in the foreground, with the convent of San Eusebio above and to the left.