untitled (interior)

artist: unknown

circa 1839
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Object Detail

untitled (interior), scene of barrel vaulted interior with figure, massive furniture and a distant view through windows to a balconied villa, canal and terracotta tiled roofed building in the far distance. The interior depicts a large room filled with massive furnishings, tables, cabinets, carved fire places, armour, large portraits and stools. A figure, possibly a boy, stands in the centre foreground, dressed in period costume, knee breeches, hose, waistcoat, leg o' mutton sleeves. His hair is cut long, to above the shoulders in a 17th century manner or may be livery for official costume-this may be a page boy. The watercolour is boldly conceived and the perspectival space is created very strongly-the eye being drawn to three gothic trefoil arched windows, glazed in circular sections in the middle distance. The source of light in the work eminates from these windows which form the central focus of the composition and also define the play of light on each object in the room. The room is lavishly furnished. The walls are hung with large portraits. One portrait, to the far right, depicts a figure dressed in turkish or Arabic costume. Beneath the portrait is a fireplace supported on life size winged caryatids, probably angels. there are four identical fireplaces in the room. A pair of carved Baroque stools stand in front of the two closest fireplaces. Centrally placed on the right wall is a massive Baroque cupboard on bun feet. The cabinet is deeply carved with architectural motifs and what appears to be barley sugar twist columns supporting four broken pediments. The cabinet or cupboard is surmounted by elaborate carved and turned classical architectural motifs. Either side of the cabinet is a syetrical arrangement of massive armour-either larger than life-or confused in scale by the size of the figure in the foreground. The armour would appear to have life-like faces inserted in the masks. Behind them, attached to the wall are shields and a grouping of spears and swards. three further framed portraits are mounted on the right wall. A similar arrangement is apparent on the left wall. A massive Baroque table with heavily carved plinths in acanthus form with mask terminations at the four feet stands in the centre of the room. three elaborate lanterns hang from the ceiling. In the window four flower pots stand on the balcony. On the balcony outside the window two figures can be discerned. A brightly coloured shawl or rug is draped over the balcony. the dominant colours used in the watercolours are brown and washes of grey. Only the landscape vista is highlighted with blue, green and yellow. the work is mounted in a wooden mount in a gilded frame which is adorned with applied ivy leaf mouldings which extend 15 cm from each corner. A note on the reverse of the frame states "frame reguilded 1998 It may have been remounted at that time.
Maker and role
artist: unknown
Production place
[Venice], [Italy]
Production date
circa 1839
Media description
watercolour and pencil on paper, gilded frame (recent)
sight: 370 x 520 mm
frame: 580 x 715 mm
Credit line
Foundation Collection, 1989
Project credit line
This digital record has been made available on TJC Collection Online through a significant donation from the OPENING DOORS fund, the generous support of The Friends of The Johnston Collection, and Digitisation Champion Christine Bell
Accession number