Sanctuary of the Hercules Victor, Tivoli, Italy
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Jonathan Skelton played a pioneering role in the development of British landscape drawing as one of the first artists to depict "Grand Tour" subjects during a residence in Italy. This example of his work shows a site in the countryside near Rome. The artist had arrived in Italy by early 1758 and, a year later, died tragically at the age of twenty-four. Skelton worked in the eighteenth-century tradition of "tinted drawing," first sketching a subject in graphite, then strengthening the lines with pen-and-ink, and finally adding subtle monochromatic watercolor washes. His accomplished draftsmanship and methods, which included sketching out-of-doors, anticipate those of Paul Sandy, who is generally regarded as the father of British watercolor painting. Interestingly, Skelton was largely unknown to modern scholars until a cache of his drawings and letters came to light in 1909. Medium: pen and gray ink, brush and gray, brown, and ochre wash over graphite.
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