The Lake of Lecco, Lombardy, ItalyArtist:
Henry Roderick Newman
, American, about 1843 - c.1917
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Frame: 338 x 362mm
Sight size: 199 x 173mm
Accession Number: CGSG00041
Newman painted this view for John Ruskin from the Villa Serbelloni, a hotel near Bellagio, situated at the junction of Lake Como and Lake Lecco in Northern Italy.
As a teenager, John Ruskin wrote about the villa in 'The Poetry of Architecture'. He said one object of the villa's setting was 'to obtain a prospect up or down the lake, and of the hills on whose projection the villa is built.' He noted further 'although the eye falls suddenly from the crags above to the promontory below, all the sublime and severe features of the scene are kept in the distance.' He concluded that the view from the villa was 'one of the loveliest situations that hill, and wave, and heaven ever combined to adorn.'
Ruskin thanked Newman for the watercolour, saying 'I can't tell you how delighted I am’. He said it was a hitherto unseen thing in art - the richness with light - the realisation with sensitiveness. The honesty, with her praise of the thing loved…'