Piazza Dante, Verona

Piazza Dante, Verona



William Callow, R.W.S. (1812-1908)
The Piazza Dante, Verona

Signed lower left:
Wm Callow
Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour
27 by 20.3 cm., 10 ½ by 8 in.

Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, 10th November 1994, lot 76;
With Spink & Son, London;
Private Collection, London, until 2011

Callow visited Verona on a number of occasions in the 1840s and 1850s. Stylistically this dates from the early 1840s and is likely to originate from his first visit to the city on his Italian tour of late 1840. He returned to the city on his honeymoon tour of Italy in 1846 and recalls in his diary ` We next proceeded to the beautiful city of Verona, with its picturesque old buildings and its wonderful market-place. To my mind it ranks next to Venice in point of interest.' (see H.M. Cundall, ed.,
William Callow, 1908, p.98).
Callow painted this view of the Lamberti Tower in Verona from the Piazza dei Signori.  The tower was completed in 1463 and was originally one of four massive towers that formed part of the Palazzo del Comune, the rear of which looks onto the square.  Also called the Palazzo della Ragione, it was probably built in 1193 and is the oldest city hall in Italy.  Its renaissance style is a contrast to the later 17
th century façade of the adjoining Palazzo dei Giudici (or Palace of the Judges) and its three archways.  Previously the office of the mayor, its name arose from its use to house foreign judges and councillors.