Sir Thomas Monnington:
Umbrian landscape, circa 1923
Framed (ref: 113)
Tempera on panel, 9 1/4 x 13 in. (23.5 x 33 cm.)
Provenance: Lady Monnington; thence by direct descent
Exhibited: London, Royal Academy, Monnington, 1977 (6); Rome, The British School at Rome, Monnington, 1997 (40)
Literature: Judy Egerton, Monnington, London, The Royal Academy, 1977, p. 25; Paul Liss, Rome, Monnington, The British School at Rome,1997, pp. 40-41, reproduced
This study relates closely to the landscape that appears in The Wine Press, Monnington's first major Rome painting, commissioned by Lord Balniel in May 1923. It is likely to have been executed between February and March 1923, (one month after Monnington arrived in Rome on his Scholarship), when he travelled in Northern Italy, spending a month studying paintings in the Uffizi in Florence, and visiting Pisa, Arezzo, Perugia, Assisi and Orvieto. Alternatively it might have been executed in the summer months that followed, when Monnington reported to the faculty that he had left Rome to escape the heat and was 'doing some landscape studies which will come in useful for future pictures,' (British School at Rome Archives, August 1923). It is particularly close in style to the work of Winifred Knights (they were married in Rome on 23 April 1924), who along with Monnington was inspired by the work of Italian Quattrocento artists, especially the landscapes of Piero della Francesca, in which the same strong sense of space and a fascination with form and pattern are apparent. Monnington's panel has all of the shimmering beauty of his Royal Academy Diploma painting Piediluco, 1924 (Royal Academy collection).