Bonington is known to have been in Italy copying Old Masters in 1826, and visits to Pisa and Florence are recorded between 24 and 31 May. Copies exist after oils in Padua, and various pencil sketches are recorded after compositions in Florence. This watercolour is a partial study of the group who are presenting an orphan to Saint Ivo, in Jacopo da Empoli's oil found in the Palatine Gallery, Florence. The extensive use of gum arabic suggests that it was probably worked up at a later stage.
Watercolour copies by Bonington after Van Dyck exist at Bowood, Wiltshire, seat of the Earl of Shelburne.
We are grateful to Patrick Noon for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.