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support: 402 x 588 mm
William Pars travelled to Italy in 1775 on a studentship given to him by the Society of Dilettanti, a dining club which sponsored and promoted the study of classical art and the creation of new works in the classical style. Pars spent much of his time in Rome, alongside other prominent British landscape painters including Francis Towne, John ‘Warwick’ Smith, and Thomas Jones, to whom he presented this watercolour of the Roman Forum. Pars remained in Italy until his death in 1782, when, despite being ‘a robust, hearty fellow’, he contracted ‘dropsy of the breast’, apparently caused by standing in water while sketching.