William Pars The Interior of the Colosseum c.1775

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Artwork details

William Pars 1742–1782
The Interior of the Colosseum
Date c.1775
Medium Watercolour, ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions Frame: 645 x 820 x 42 mm
support: 435 x 591 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mrs Marion Adams in memory of her husband Canon J.H. Adams 1986
Not on display

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Pars was sent to Rome on a bursary by the Society of Dilettanti in 1775; he remained in Italy until his death from pleurisy seven years later. Although he had been a portrait painter from the start of his career, and remained one, he is now known almost exclusively for his work as a landscape watercolourist. In Italy he associated with the large group of English artists working in Rome, notably John 'Warwick' Smith, Francis Towne and Thomas Jones. This watercolour was a preliminary study for a more highly finished version made for sale to a patron. The Colosseum had been consecrated in 1750 as a memorial to the early Christians martyred there, and a chapel and Stations of the Cross erected round the interior.

September 2004

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