JONES, Thomas
(b. 1742, Trevonen, Wales, d. 1803, Pencerrig, Wales)

An Excavation

c. 1777
Oil on paper, 41,9 x 55,9 cm
Private collection

Antiquity was the great theme in British painting in the last decades of the 18th century. Its influence can be traced in two areas particularly - in literature, which often comes close to the macabre, and in the excavations of antique sites, which were followed with intense interest at the time. Thomas Jones' painting , documenting one of these excavations, gives an example of the latter. It may be the site of the Villa Montalto in Rome, where the Termini railway station now stands. Sites like these attracted the British travelers on the Grand Tour, and soon a fever for collecting developed that dominated elegant taste throughout Europe.

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