• View towards Capel Curig from the Resting Place on the Ascent of the Mountain Ridge north of Nantwynan -
    Price on request

    Inscribed on original mount: 233./July 14.th 1792./View towards Capel Curig from the Gorphwysfa or Resting Place, on the Ascent of the Mountain Ridge/North of Nantwynan. From hence communications in opposite directions, extend to Capel Curig./and Llanberis. - Carnarvonshire -

    Watercolour over traces of pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour

    14 by 21.5 cm., 5 ¾  by 8 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    The 7th Earl of Warwick, his sale, Sotheby’s, 17th June 1936

     

    Smith was the son of a Cumberland gardener and studied under Sawrey Gilpin (1733-1807), another artist from the North-west. Gilpin introduced Smith to the Earl of Warwick who paid for his trip to Italy from 1776 until 1781, hence his nickname.

     

    Smith made various tours of Wales and his Welsh are usually precisely dated and inscribed with the subject.

  • View of the Ruins of Conway Castle on the River Conway taken from the South -
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    Watercolour over traces of pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour

    13 by 21.7cm., 5 by 8 1/2 inches

     

    Provenance:

    Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, 13th November 1980, lot 76

  • 'St Cosimato and the Remains of the Claudian Aqueduct situated on the River Anio, 10 miles above Tivoli in the Apennines' -
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  • ?Port of Terracina, and Ruins of Antient Anxur, situated on the Confi nes of the Roman Territories, entering the Kingdom of Naples? -
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    Signed on reverse of original washline mount: John Smyth 1797 and inscribed with the title

    Watercolour over traces of pencil

    39.8 by 57cm, 15 ? by 22 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    Private Collection, Gloucestershire until 2007

     

    A view of Terracina by Smith was engraved in 1796 for his ?Select Views of Italy?, vol. II, pl.45. The present watercolour, drawn in the following year, may be a commission arising from the publication of the engraving. ?Warwick? Smith?s description of the engraving is as follows: ?Terracina was the Anxur of the ancients. It stands high. There is but little remarkable in it at present except the cathedral, which is erected upon the ruins of the temple of Jupiter. The antique columns of the latter support the facade of the wooden fabric. This view represents the part of Terracina which in the time of the Volscians was considerable: it is now only a harbour for a few small fishing boats. Here is a dogana, or custom-house, belonging to the Pope, for the purpose of examining whatever merchandise is exported from or imported to the Neapolitan dominions.? A smaller view of Terracina by Warwick Smith taken from a slightly different angle is recorded in the Opp? collection.

     

  • View on the Tiber, Italy -
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    watercolour over traces of pencil

    16.4 by 24.2cm., 6 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches

     

    Smith was in Italy from 1776 until 1781 under the patronage of the Earl of Warwick. The present watercolour is likely to date from after his return.

  • Foot of Mount Spl?gen near Chiavenna ? Light from Right, Morning -
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    Inscribed with title in the artist?s hand verso

    Pen and grey ink and watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour on laid paper

    36.3 by 26.1 cm., 14 ? by 10 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    Possibly the Merivale Family;

    With the Squire Gallery, Baker St., London;

    Bought from them by the Fine Art Society, 1946-47;

    Bryan G. Hamilton, Tunbridge Wells, Kent;

    With Appleby Bros., London, April 1959;

    With Boydell Galleries, Liverpool;

    Bertram Williams, Formby, Liverpool, 1961;

    Bertram Nowell Smith, his sale, Christie?s, 6th November 1973, lot 211, bought Wright for ?1,200

     

    Exhibited:

    Bootle Museum and Art Gallery, Exhibition of Early English Watercolours from the collection of Mr B.N. Williams, 1963, no.57

     

    Literature:

    Huon Mallalieu, The Dictionary of British Watercolour Artists up to 1920, 1979, vol. II, p.527, ill.

     

    Previously attributed to Francis Towne, this is a watercolour drawn by ?Warwick? Smith on his journey through the Alps with Towne in the summer of 1781. Smith left England for Italy in 1776 thanks to the patronage of the Earl of Warwick and remained there until his return with Towne in 1781. He lived mainly in Rome where he joined the community of British artists which included Towne, Cozens, Pars and Thomas Jones. Towne and ?Warwick? Smith chose the eastern route over the Alps, passing the Italian Lakes then going via Chiavenna and through the Spl?gen Pass into Switzerland in late August 1781. Towne?s drawings ?Near Mount Spl?gen? (dated 29th August) and ?The Top of the Spl?gen Pass? are in the Tate Gallery (see Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, 1997, nos. 37 and 38, pp.93-95) and ?Mount Spl?gen? by Smith is in the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford (see Wilcox, op. cit., p.94, ill. fig. 32).

     

    The present drawing shows the influence of Towne on ?Warwick? Smith?s work at this period. The use of pen and ink in Smith?s drawing, which is typical of Towne, is evident in a number of his work executed in Italy and particularly the group executed in the Naples area in 1778-79, many of which are now in the Tate Gallery. Baskett and Snelgrove note of Smith that ?the drawings made on the spot in Italy show him at his best, responding with a new amplitude of style to the strong sunlight. . . . Undoubtedly too, he benefited from the companionship in Italy of William Pars and later of Francis Towne, with whom he travelled back through Switzerland in the autumn of 1781? (see John Baskett and Dudley Snelgrove, English Drawings and Watercolors 1550-1850 in the Mellon Collection, 1972, p.43). Although the use of pen and ink shows Towne?s influence, the heavy depiction of the foliage and the figure grouping in the foreground are typical of Smith.

     

    We are grateful to Richard Stephens for his help in cataloguing this drawing.

  • The Temple of Sibyl, Tivoli -
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    Watercolour over pencil

    31.7 by 42.5 cm., 12 ½ by 16 ¾ in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Colnaghi, London, 1969;

    Private Collection until 2014

     

    Exhibited:

    London, Colnaghi, 28 May – 13 June 1969, no. 116

     

    Tivoli stands dramatically on the lower slopes of the Sabine hills about fifteen miles east of Rome. It was a popular summer retreat during Imperial times and its beautiful scenery attracted Northern European artists from the seventeenth century onwards. All British artists in the eighteenth century from Richards Wilson onwards visited and painted at Tivoli. `Warwick’ Smith here depicts the circular Temple of Sibyl which stands at the north-east corner of the town.  Below thunders the `Cascatelle’ or Grand Cascade of the river Aniene, spray from which Smith depicts.

     

    A close-up view of the temple by `Warwick’ Smith is in the Tate Gallery (ex-Oppé collection) and a view from another angle is in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. A watercolour of the Villa Maecenas, Tivoli showing the Cascatelle is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (see Francis Hawcroft, Travels in Italy 1776-1783, 1988, p.52-53, no. 56, ill.).

  • Near Rome -
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    Inscribed with title on old backing, watercolour over pencil on laid paper watermarked with a fleur de lys

    24.4 by 34.5 cm., 9 ½ by 13 ¾ in.

     

    John ‘Warwick’ Smith was born in Cumberland and studied under Sawrey Gilpin. In 1776, he was sent to Rome by his patron George, 2nd Earl of Warwick and remained there for five years. His stay coincided with those of his fellow artists William Pars, Thomas Jones (who records some of Smith’s activities in his Memoirs) and Francis Towne with whom he returned to England via Switzerland in 1781. In January 1778 he was recorded as living in a house about two miles outside the Porta Pia, but in March of that year he set off for Naples where he spent sixteen months. He was back in Rome in July 1779 and left for home in August 1781.

     

    This is likely to be a view of the many villas in the countryside outside Rome.

  • A Bridge over the river Trient, Switzerland -
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    Inscribed with title verso, watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour

    47.7 by 31.7 cm., 18 ¾ by 12 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Thos Agnew & Sons, London;

    Private Collection

     

    Smith was the son of a Cumberland gardener and studied under Sawrey Gilpin (1733-1807), another local artist. Gilpin introduced Smith to the Earl of Warwick who paid for his trip to Italy from 1776 until 1781, hence his nickname. Smith passed through Switzerland on his return to England with Francis Towne in the summer of 1781.  They left Rome in August and entered Switzerland near Chiavenna travelling up to Lake Walenstadt then headed west to Geneva. From there they travelled south to Chamonix and returned to Geneva via Montreux.

    Dated drawings by Towne reveal that they were still in Geneva on 11th September and had reached Vevey on the 20th. They headed north from Geneva and homewards on the 23rd.

     

     The river Trient originates from the Trient Glacier and flows through the village of the same name.  Trient is situated a few miles to the south-west of Martigny and north-east of Chamonix near the French-Swiss border. Another view of this bridge, in landscape format, was sold at Christie's South Kensington on 20th May 2015, lot 597

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