Thomas Jones (British, Trevonen, Wales 1742–1803 Pencerrig, Wales)
Watercolor, gum arabic glazes, over graphite
Sheet: 14 3/4 × 19 1/8 in. (37.5 × 48.5 cm)
Purchase, Mary Trumbull Adams Fund, Brooke Russell Astor Bequest, and 2009 and 2005 Benefit Funds, 2013
Not on view
Jones belonged to an innovative coterie of British artists who worked in Rome and Naples in the late eighteenth century, developing innovative approaches to landscape. Watercolor’s subtle expressive potential allowed the creation of this exquisite light-filled image that the artist took back with him to London in 1783. Attracted to picturesque locations, he found a narrow cliff-lined road behind the Hospital of San Gennaro in Naples, described in his Memoirs as flanked with "Masses of Tuffa, finely fringed with Shrubs of various hues and shades, and interspersed with grottoes or caverns, from whence stones for...building were excavated." Jones layered watercolor and gum to evoke the low golden light of a late afternoon, with the rays bathing a woman at prayer, a strolling workman, and a grazing donkey.
Signature: in ink, lower right: "T. Jones"
Inscription: in graphite, top center (under watercolor): "Octob-r 1782"; verso in brown ink (in the artist's hand): “No 1 in the Suburbs of Naples quary [sic] / T. Jones.”
Thomas Jones (British, Trevonen, Wales 1742–1803 Pencerrig, Wales); Anna Maria Jones (British, 1780–1810); Thomas Thomas, of Llanbradach, Wales; Private collection, Wales; Vendor: Ben Elwes Fine Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 19, 2013–February 10, 2014.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints," December 9, 2014–March 16, 2015.
Ralph Edwards Thomas Jones (1742-1803) Ex. cat.: Marble Hill House, Twickenham and National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. Greater London Council, 1970, cat. no. 48.
Ann Sumner, Greg Smith Thomas Jones (1742-1803), an Artist Rediscovered Ex. cat.: National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff, Whitworth Art Gallery, and Manchester, National Gallery. New Haven and London, 2003, cat. no. 137, p. 245.