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The Door of a Grotto

Artist:
William Marlow (British, Southwark, London 1740/41–1813 Twickenham, London)
Date:
ca. 1765–66
Medium:
Watercolor and graphite
Dimensions:
Sheet: 11 in. × 13 1/2 in. (27.9 × 34.3 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Jeffrey L. Berenson and Raymond Lifchez Living Trust Gifts, 2014
Accession Number:
2014.147
Not on view
Marlow made this free watercolor sketch during a trip through France and Italy. Spontaneous brushwork and bright washes evoke strong sunlight playing across stone, contrasted with a shadowed recess covered by a rough wooden door. The artist’s travel likely was supported by the duchess of Northumberland, since Marlow later made many finished oils of Italian subjects for this English patroness. The freshness of the drawing is an early demonstration of watercolor’s expressive potential and anticipates groundbreaking innovations that would be made twenty years later by the British artists Thomas Jones and John Robert Cozens in Rome and Naples.
Vendor: Martyn Gregory
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," March 19, 2015–June 22, 2015.

M. J. H. Liversidge "Six etchings by William Marlow" Burlington Magazine. vol. 122, 1980, pp. 547–53.

John Ingamells A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701–1800. Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997.

M. J. H. Liversidge "‘“… a few foreign graces and airs …”: William Marlow's grand tour landscapes" The impact of Italy: the grand tour and beyond. C. Hornsby, 2000.

M. J. H. Liversidge "Marlow, William (1740/41–1813)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. online ed. May 2009. 2004.



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