The Villa d'Este at Tivoli from the Cypress Avenue
Inscribed in pencil at lower left, Villa d'Este Tivoli - drawn on the spot; at left margin, Termination of the clusters in / shadow were soft and fluffy like / these.
Black chalk and watercolor, heightened with white, on blue-gray paper
18 x 12 9/16 inches (457 x 319 mm)
Purchased as the gift of the Fellows
In 1838 Samuel Palmer spent several weeks at the "inexhaustible" Villa d'Este, "enchantment itself." Whereas earlier visitors had commented on the statuary and waterworks in these gardens, Palmer was most taken with the trees. "You must wonder at our staying so long in Tivoli, but you would not wonder if you saw it—I have got a finished study of pines and cypresses—the latter 300 years old and wonderfully fine." Palmer returned to England determined to paint "Poetic Landscape . . . [of] deep sentiment and deep tone," a venture highly approved of by John Ruskin, who commended Palmer's work in the third edition of Modern Painters.