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Carlo Labruzzi

(1765 Rome – 1818 Perugia)

An Ancient Archway in an Enchanted Landscape. Watercolour over a light preliminary drawing in pencil. 42 x 34.1 cm. “... antico un miglio e mezzo lontano da Itri per andare a Molo” inscribed in pen and brown ink in the artist’s own hand. Circa 1790.

Born in Rome, Carlo Labruzzi was admitted to the Congregazione dei Virtuosi in 1781 and to the Accademia di San Luca in 1796. He earned himself a reputation primarily as a landscape painter and engraver. Among his favourite subjects were engraved views of Roman antiquities and depictions of genre scenes. Labruzzi’s series of engravings Via Appia illustrata ab urbe Roma ad Capuam, published in 1794, shows views of ancient buildings and tombs along the Via Appia. The work was dedicated to the antiquarian, Sir Richard Hoare, who had invited Labruzzi to accompany him from Rome to Brindisi in 1789 on the trail of the lyric poet Horace. Although the undertaking had to be abandoned in Benevento, the artist used the drawings he made on the journey as designs for numerous works. The present watercolour comes from a series of occasional studies that the artist made during a walking tour in the province of Latina in Latium. The atmospheric motif is freely and confidently rendered from nature and has a painterly quality. Attractive sheets of this kind were also made specifically as souvenirs for foreign travellers undertaking the Grand Tour.

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