25 May 2007
Jacob More (1740-1793)
Maecenas' Villa, Tivoli
with inscription 'Jacob More...' (on fragment attached to reverse of backboard) and further inscribed 'Mecenna's [sic] Villa/at Tivoli' (on a fragment attached to reverse of backboard)
pencil and watercolour
20 x 28 in. (50.8 x 71.1 cm.)
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 7 July 1977, lot 40 (one of a pair).
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P.R. Andrew, 'Jacob More: Biography and a Checklist of Works', Walpole Society, LV, 1990, p. 169, no. B. 5. xxiv.
London, Fine Art Society, Watercolours 1780-1950, 1978, no. 98.
The villa of Maecenas at Tivoli was an incredibly popular subject for landscape painters because it was situated so dramatically at the top of the cascade. It also had a moral element, representing the very highest achievements of classical civilisation, but in its ruined state also signifying the decadence and decline of that culture. Born in 70BC, Maecenas was a cultured and well-educated man whose name has become a byword for a wealthy patron. He was most famous for his patronage of Virgil, who dedicated the Georgics to him, and who also encouraged Maecenas' support of Horace.
For a note on the artist see lot 3.
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