Sanford Robinson Gifford (American, 1823–1880)
Oil on canvas; 26 3/8 x 50 3/8 in. (67 x 128 cm)
Gift of Robert Gordon, 1912 (12.205.1)
Gifford had visited Tivoli in 1856 on his first trip abroad and, on his second trip a dozen years later, was drawn back, in his words, to "one of the finest views in the world"—the prospect toward Rome overlooking the vale of the Anio (or Aniene) River, past the cascatelle pouring from the arches of the villa of Maecenas. In 1868, he felt discouraged by the variety of detail he then observed versus "the broad and simple splendor of the scene" that he had recalled, and mused: "Whether [Art] will give me the gorge of the Anio or not is yet to be seen." Two years later, he painted this picture, reprising his own masterly vision of American locales such as his beloved Kauterskill Clove in the Catskill Mountains, the subject of the Metropolitan's Gorge in the Mountains.