Frascati, Near Rome

William Cowen British

Not on view

Cowen made this delicately painted watercolor when he was twenty-two and it demonstrates the fresh vision British artists brought to landscape when they returned to the Continent after the Napoleonic wars. Frascati, twelve miles southeast of Rome, offered a prospect of the Alban hills framed by the Villa Lancellotti at right, and cathedral of San Pietro Apostolo at left. Long shadows cast by two umbrella pines indicate a rising sun at left. Cowen's travels were subsidized by Charles William Wentworth, third Earl Fitzwilliam, and other drawings from the trip are now at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. While recognizable landmarks are included, the artist gave greater attention to delicate shifting colors in the sky, and the way low light transforms architectural forms into abstracted planes. Foreground details are set against shadows still cloaking the plain and distant hills.

Frascati, Near Rome, William Cowen (British, Rotheram 1797–1861 Brompton), Watercolor, pen and ink

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