An Outcrop in the Campagna

perhaps 1866, Frederic, Lord Leighton

The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission

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This simple, quick image of a rocky outcrop silhouetted against a clear blue sky, was recently rediscovered when it appeared in a 1992 London sale. The sketch may date from the painting expedition in the Roman Campagna undertaken by Leighton, Giovanni Costa and William Blake Richmond (1842 - 1921) in the autumn of 1866. The directness with which the humble natural objects and the play of light are depicted are characteristic of Leighton's finest Italian oil sketches.

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