The Capuchin Monastery at Amalfi, Italy

The Capuchin Monastery at Amalfi, Italy



John `Warwick' Smith (1749-1831)
The Capuchin Monastery at Amalfi, Italy

Signed on reverse of original mount:
Convent near Amalfi in the Bay of Salerno/John Smith. 1808.
Watercolour over traces of pencil
22.3 by 29.9 cm., 8 ¾ by 11 ¾ in.

With Thos. Agnew & Sons (47206), 1980s

London, Society of Painters in Water-colours, 1808, no.178 as `Convent near Amalfi in the Bay of Salerno'

John `Warwick' Smith spent five years in Italy, from 1776 until 1781 at the expense of his patron the 2nd Earl of Warwick. While there, he sketched with Thomas Jones and returned to England via Switzerland with Francis Towne. Smith was based in Naples for sixteen months from March 1778, frequently sketching with Thomas Jones from September 1778. Smith rented a house at Vietri on the Bay of Salerno each summer and visited nearby Sorrento in November 1778.

This is a view of the Capuchin Monastery outside Amalfi, now the Convento di Amalfi hotel. The complex dates from the early thirteenth century when it was built by the Cistercians. From 1583 it was entrusted to the Capuchin Friars and was first used as a hotel in 1885.

Another version of this watercolour, probably drawn on the spot, is in Manchester Art Gallery.