VIEW OF FLORENCE FROM THE CASINI GARDENS
Pencil and watercolour
19.5 x 26 cm
John Dugmore of Swaffham was born into a noble Norfolk family and underwent the education in the classics that was typical of his day. Upon moving to London he entered into the circle of the Royal Court, where he met William Charles Keppel, 4th Earl of Albemarle, who was to become his patron. It is believed that Dugmore was employed as tutor to the Earl's children. As part of this responsibility, he accompanied one of the Earl's sons on his Grand Tour in 1820 and painted over 100 works recording the sights that they saw. The present work is therefore likely from this Tour, which took in Italy, the Alps and even Istanbul.
Dugmore's output was not large and his drawings are rare; but his daughter-in-law, Lady Hutton, made mention of the existence of many albums filled with around 130 works by her late father-in-law. Sixty-five of these drawings are recorded in detail in Lady Hutton’s last will. Among them, forty-seven were discovered at Sotheby's in 2001 and published by Jeremy Highsmith that year (1).
Dugmore is recorded as Lord of the Manor of the amusingly named Great Snoring, Norfolk, where he owned a large portion of the 2,00 acres of the parish of St Mary the Virgin, together with Walsingham Abbey. His will, proved by his nephew (a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Scots Fusiliers Guards), was valued at around £35,000, an extraordinarily large sum for the day.
(1) Jeremy Highsmith, Tre importanti nuclei di disegni, in Quadri e Sculture, Vol. VIII (2001), No. 37, p. 92