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This watercolour is based on a coloured sketch of the same view, now in the British Museum. The sketch is inscribed ‘No.5 2 Miles from Rome going out at the Porta Pia from 10 o Clock till 1 o clock’, and dated 26 October 1780. The countryside to the north-east of Rome was popular during this period with artists keen to escape the bustle of city life. Known as the Roman Campagna, it was also a favourite sketching ground of the celebrated seventeenth-century painter Claude Lorrain.

April 2007