View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
Skelton is an important figure in the emergence of a landscape watercolour tradition in Britain in the mid-eighteenth century but, like William Taverner (nos.7-8), a rather shadowy one. A profile of his life and work can only be pieced together by examining the locations depicted in his watercolours, which all date from between 1754 and 1758. In 1757 Skelton travelled to Italy. We know from the letters he wrote the next year from Rome and Tivoli to his patron that he was often working out of doors there painting in oil and watercolours from nature. However, this watercolour must have been made in the studio, as Skelton's inscription on the back states that 'the Parts of this Drawing are grouped together at Fancy'.
Gallery label, September 2004