Description & Technical information

The present sheet was drawn during the summer of 1845 at Ariccia, a town near Lake Nemi in the Roman Campagna, south of the city. Cromek often made sketching expeditions around the Campagna, including the towns of Ariccia, Frascati and Tivoli. Depicted in this watercolour is a flowering plant known as the great or common mullein (Verbascum thapsus), found throughout Europe and Asia but particularly common around the Mediterranean. The leaves of the mullein, which can grow to up to two metres in height, have long been used in traditional herbal medicine.

Among stylistically comparable nature studies by Cromek is a drawing of A Branch with Leaves, among the many watercolours by the artist today in the possession of his great-grandson, Wilfrid Warrington. A similar watercolour study of a mullein, inscribed and dated ‘Ariccia July 29, 1848’ is also in the collection of Cromek’s descendants.

Date:  1845
Period:  1750-1850, 19th century
Origin:  England
Medium: Watercolour, Pencil underdrawing
Signature: Signed, inscribed and dated T.H. CROMEK / Ariccia / 11 Augt. 1845. at the bottom centre.

Dimensions: 18.3 x 20.8 cm (7¹/₄ x 8¹/₄ inches)
Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints