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© Tate, London 2019 | Licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)
© Tate, London 2019 | Licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)

The Interior of the Colosseum

ca. 1775

William Pars

From the collection


The Interior of the Colosseum


ca. 1775



Pars was sent to Rome on a bursary by the Society of Dilettanti in 1775; he remained in Italy until his death from pleurisy seven years later. Although he had been a portrait painter from the start of his career, and remained one, he is now known almost exclusively for his work as a landscape watercolourist. In Italy he associated with the large group of English artists working in Rome, notably John 'Warwick' Smith, Francis Towne and Thomas Jones. This watercolour was a preliminary study for a more highly finished version made for sale to a patron. The Colosseum had been consecrated in 1750 as a memorial to the early Christians martyred there, and a chapel and Stations of the Cross erected round the interior.
Gallery label, September 2004

Medium: Watercolour, ink and graphite on paper
Credit line: 'Presented by Mrs Marion Adams in memory of her husband Canon J.H. Adams 1986'

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From the Watercolour World


Colosseum, Rome, Italy



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