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Pen and brown ink and brush and brown wash over graphite, framing lines in brown ink
Support: Cream(3) laid paper
Sheet: 26 x 40.5 cm (10 1/4 x 15 15/16 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Greene 1928.15.a
This drawing represents a view of the famous Acqua Acetosa, a mineral spring that until the 19th century provided the favored drinking water of Romans who believed in its healing powers. Although topographically accurate, the sheet is not a plein-air study but a vision of an imagined Arcadian world carefully rendered by Gellée, one of the most original painters of the 17th century. The French-born artist spent his career painting and drawing the Roman Campagna and the Neopolitan coastline. Sublimely beautiful pen-and-ink and wash drawings such as the example here reveal the artist's highly poetic response to the natural world and his unparalleled sensitivity to light.
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