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John 'Warwick' Smith (Cumberland 1749-1831 London)
John 'Warwick' Smith (Cumberland 1749-1831 London)

Four Italian views: Bologna; Castel Sant' Angelo, Rome; The Tomb of Cicero; and Salerno

Details
John 'Warwick' Smith (Cumberland 1749-1831 London)
Four Italian views: Bologna; Castel Sant' Angelo, Rome; The Tomb of Cicero; and Salerno
signed, inscribed and dated respectively: 'Bologna/J. Smith 1795'; 'Bridge and Castle of St Angelo, at Rome/J. Smith 1795'; 'Tomb of Cicero/J. Smith 1797'; 'Salerno./John Smith 1799' (on the verso)
pencil and watercolour, the second heightened with white, on paper
5 x 7 5/8 in. (12.2 x 19.5 cm.) (4)
Literature
J. Smith, Select Views in Italy, with Topographical and Historical Descriptions, 1796; Tomb of Cicero, vol. II, pl. 47; Ponte St Angelo, vol. I, pl. 24; Salerno, vol. II, pl. 65.

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Lot Essay

John Smith went to Italy in 1776 with the financial support of George, 2nd Earl of Warwick, and remained there until 1781. The present four watercolours date from the 1790s. Following the publication of his Select Views in Italy, with Topographical and Historical Descriptions (1796) which familiarised a wide public to his work. The 72 engravings for Select Views, which were made between 1792 and 1796, influenced and informed others in the planning of their own visits to Italy. Turner made thumbnail drawings of a selection of them in his 'Italian Guide Book Sketchbook' (Turner Bequest CLXXII) of around 1819.

A version of the view of Bologna was engraved by Thomas Medland for Smith's Select Views, 2 February 1792, vol. I, pl. 1. In the accompanying text Smith notes that the very tall tower to the right is the Asinelli, a watchtower which, he says, was built in 1109 and is 'about 100 yards in height'. The church in the foreground is part of the convent of San Michele in Bosco and the view looks out across the plains of Lombardy beyond the city. A variant of the view of Rome, with the Castel Sant' Angelo was also engraved by William Byrne for Smith's Select Views.
The Tomb of Cicero is at Formia, on the Bay of Gaeta, half way between Rome and Naples. An earlier version of this composition was engraved by Pouncy for Smith's Select Views in Italy. The fourth view of Salerno must date to when Smith was in Naples from 1778-1779. The same stretch of rocky coast attracted John Robert Cozens who made several watercolours of Salerno during his visit to this area in 1782. An earlier version of Smith's Salerno was engraved by William Byrne and James Sparrow for Select Views in Italy.

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