George Augustus WALLIS
(Merton 1761 - Florence 1847)
Oil on paper, mounted on canvas
H. 30 cm; L. 51 cm
Provenance: 1998, Galerie Eric Coatalem; Private collection
Bibliography: George Augustus Wallis, Galerie Eric Coatalem, 1998, rep. p.12.
Born in Merton in Surrey, near London, Wallis, funded by Lord Warwick, traveled to Italy in 1788, a country he would only leave on very rare occasions. It was in Naples that his stay began, where he notably met Jakob Philipp Hackert, landscape painter who served as his guide and master. His grand Italian tour will then take him from Paestum to Rome, including a detour to Sicily. It was in 1794 that he joined the Eternal City, where he joined the group of English painters and established himself as an art dealer. During this stay, which lasted until 1806, he made numerous sketches of landscapes from the Roman countryside. Back in England, he exhibited again (his first paintings were presented in 1785) and sold works collected from Italian families who fled the Napoleonic occupation in the peninsula. Different links with Spanish, London merchants, and even Roman banks, will allow Wallis to continue his activity on his lands of origin, before leaving for Italy and Florence in 1817, in company of his son Trajan. He became a professor of painting at the Academy of the city and resumed his career as a painter, now known for his portraits of the personalities of Florence and his sketches of landscapes on paper, which he himself transposes on canvas.
These sketches, long considered to be by Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, were correctly reassigned to him at the very end of the 20th century, on the occasion of an exhibition in New York in 1996 and an unpublished set presented by Eric Coatalem in 1998 in Paris.
Our sketch is part of this set of about twenty-five oils on paper representing picturesque or well-known places in Tuscany and the Roman countryside.
48 000 €