The town of Civita Castellana lies in the Viterbo province of Lazio, approximately seventeen miles south of Narni and thirty miles north of Rome. This sketch depicts the distinctive outline of the Forte Sangallo and the deep gorge which surrounds the town from the road to the south-west towards Castel Sant’Elia and Nepi. Turner has used rough areas of hatching and broad looping lines to describe the verdant, shady slopes of the ravine. The gorge was most famously depicted by the early French en plein-air artists such as Jean-Joseph-Xavier Bidauld (1758–1846), 1 Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1750–1819) and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875).2
See Philip Conisbee, Sarah Faunce and Jeremy Strick, In the Light of Italy: Corot and Early Open-Air Painting, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington 1996, p.141 and Anna Ottani Cavina, Un Paese Incantato: Italia Dipinta da Thomas Jones a Corot, exhibition catalogue, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Parigi and Palazzo Te, Mantova, Italy 2001, p.125.
See Peter Galassi, Corot in Italy, New Haven and London 1991, pp.174–195.
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