Inscribed to mount River View in Upper Calabria, Naples from a sketch by an English Tourist in 1846


35 x 53 cm



The present work, with its intriguing inscription, can be compared to another view in Calabria by Crouch, presently with Chris Beetles Fine Art, London, which bears the title "A Morning View In Upper Calabria, Naples an Original Drawing from a Sketch by a German Artist". A further work, sold at Christie's, London, 17.11.2005, Lot 118 (part of) also bore the inscription In Calabria, as did another sold at Sotheby's, London, 15.12.1983, which was inscribed Views in Calabria from the Sketch Book of a Foreign Artist. It is likely that Crouch never visited Italy himself, though he had a considerable skill for adapting the architecture and topography of the country. 


Although very little is known about William Crouch’s life, the number of surviving works suggest a prolific and successful commercial practice. His watercolours are usually worked on a small scale, with the present work an exceptionally large scale example within his ouevre


Crouch’s forte was the Arcadian capriccio landscape, filled with archaeological elements and classical edifices, usually suffused with a warm light like that of John Varley and the works of the 'Ancients' (Samuel Palmer, Francis Finch et al). Between 1830 and 1850, many of Crouch's watercolours were engraved for annuals and periodicals. These included View in the Campagna, which appeared in the annual Friendship’s Offering for 1841, accompanied by John Ruskin’s poem, The Departed Light.

WILLIAM CROUCH (1817-1850)