The Welsh artist Richard Wilson was one of the most important landscape painters working in Britain in the second half of the eighteenth century. The majority of his drawings are in chalks, pen and ink or pencil. His pupil, Thomas Jones (no.44), reported that Wilson 'did not approve of tinted Drawings' (that is watercolours) which he felt 'hurt the Eye for fine Colouring'.
Ariccia is situated south-east of Rome in the Alban Hills. Wilson shows the famous view looking towards the Palazzo Chigi and Bernini's church of Santa Maria dell'Assunzione. He has used a stump (a tightly rolled paper or leather cylinder with rounded points) to soften and smudge some of the black chalk, thus creating rich areas of tone.
Gallery label, September 2004