Francis Dashwood’s Paintings Collection at West Wycombe: the Tuscan Influence

Essay by Peter Björn Kerber

When James Grimston, 2nd Viscount Grimston (1711–1773) visited West Wycombe on 9 August 1769, he was clearly baffled by the names of several artists represented in the collection of paintings. In his travel journal, he made a list of the pictures in the two principal rooms, thus becoming the earliest visitor whose impressions of Francis Dashwood’s collection have been preserved. Having traversed the safer ground of works given to familiar names such as Salvator Rosa, Correggio, Titian and Rubens, Grimston found himself on thin ice when shown – presumably by a member of the household staff, since he does not mention meeting Dashwood – a ‘Magdalen despising riches’ by ‘Farion’, ‘Faith and Charity’ by ‘Siena’ and ‘Noah’s first sacrifice’ by ‘Pastinelli’. All three were hanging in the Drawing Room (today’s Music Room).1

The connecting thread from the Saint Mary Magdalene by the Florentine painter Francesco Furini (1603–1646),2 to the pendants of the Allegory of Faith and Allegory of Charity (figs 1 and 2) by the Sienese artist Raffaello Vanni (1587–1673),3 to The Sacrifice of Noah (fig. 3) by the Florentine Giovanni Martinelli (1600–1659)4 – whom Grimston confused with the Bolognese Lorenzo Pasinelli – is that they are works by painters of the seventeenth-century Tuscan school.5 The visitor’s unfamiliarity with these artists’ names is therefore hardly surprising. Although Dashwood had made two Grand Tours in 1730–31 and 1739–40,6 his collection eschewed most of the canonical artists of the Roman and Bolognese schools and formed what appears to be an almost deliberate counterpoint to the typical Grand Tour collection.7 Dashwood’s post-mortem inventory, taken on 1 January 1782, lists the Furini in the First Hall (today’s Dining Room) and the Vanni pair as well as the Martinelli in the Portico Room, another name for the Drawing Room.8

Allegory of Faith

Figure 1.
Raffaello Vanni, Allegory of Faith, 1655–73. Oil on canvas, 117 × 155 cm. National Trust, Osterley Park (NT 771298).

Digital image courtesy of National Trust Images (NT 771299). (All rights reserved)

Allegory of Charity

Figure 2.
Raffaello Vanni, Allegory of Charity, 1655–73. Oil on canvas, 117 × 155 cm. National Trust, Osterley Park.

Digital image courtesy of National Trust Images. (All rights reserved)

The Sacrifice of Noah

Figure 3.
Giovanni Martinelli, The Sacrifice of Noah, by 1659. Oil on canvas, 158 × 177 cm. Private Collection.

Digital image courtesy of Sotheby's. (All rights reserved)

In 1797 the topographer Thomas Langley (1769–1801) published the first comprehensive historical survey of West Wycombe. He catalogued the paintings in the Drawing Room, noting that some of them had recently been moved.9 The Furini had rejoined the Vanni pair and the Martinelli in this room. Langley recorded another important pair of Tuscan school paintings that had been either moved from another room or overlooked by Grimston: Saint Dorothy of Cappadocia and Saint Catherine of Alexandria (figs 4 and 5) by Cesare Dandini (1596–1657).10 These two octagonal canvases, also listed in the 1782 inventory,11 are among the finest paintings acquired for West Wycombe, and their provenance points back to the origins of Dashwood’s preference for Tuscan over Bolognese and Roman seventeenth-century painting. During his second Grand Tour, he spent time in Florence and Siena in December 1739 and again in Florence in September–October 1740.12 At the time, the pair of Dandinis hung in Palazzo del Chiaro in via de’ Ginori as part of one of the city’s most significant art collections, which Dashwood is likely to have visited.13 In 1741, the last surviving (and childless) member of the family, Pier Giovanni del Chiaro, donated the contents of the palazzo to a charitable confraternity, the Compagnia della Purificazione della Vergine e di San Zanobi, also known as the Compagnia di San Marco after the church to which it was attached.14 After his death, the confraternity decided to sell the entire collection at auction in 1743.15

Saint Dorothy of Cappadocia

Figure 4.
Cesare Dandini, Saint Dorothy of Cappadocia, c.1640–49. Oil on canvas, 120.5 × 101.4 cm. Private Collection.

Digital image courtesy of Christie’s. (All rights reserved)

Saint Catharine of Alexandria

Figure 5.
Cesare Dandini, Saint Catharine of Alexandria, c.1640–49. Oil on canvas, 121 × Private Collection.

Digital image courtesy of Christie's. (All rights reserved)

The Dandinis and many of Dashwood’s other pictures were probably purchased through his agent in Leghorn, Anthony Lefroy (1703–1779). This Huguenot merchant was a significant collector in his own right, assembling an important numismatic collection of more than 6500 ancient coins. He was elected a member of the Accademia Etrusca in Cortona in 1753.16 Together with Dashwood’s London agents, the firm of Thomas Hyam and Son, Lefroy organised shipments ranging from paintings and sculpture to wine and fruit. The surviving correspondence and bills are fragmentary, covering only the years 1754–56.17 The two paintings that appear in these documents show that Dashwood’s unusual predilection for Tuscan artists did not exclude the acquisition of works by more famous names such as Rubens and Ribera, or at least attributed to them, as the agents cautiously wrote: ‘a picture of ye Holy Family we suppose of Rubbans’18 and ‘a picture bought at Florence repres.g Pythagoras of ye Spagnoletto’ (fig. 6).19


Figure 6.
Circle of Jusepe de Ribera, Pythagoras, undated. Oil on canvas, 114 × 90 cm. West Wycombe Park.

Digital image courtesy of West Wycombe Park / Photo: Rodolfo Acevedo Rodriguez. (All rights reserved)

Lefroy was still in touch with Dashwood in 1763,20 when financial difficulties forced the former to sell his collection in London.21 The Saint Mary Magdalene by Furini offered in the Lefroy sale is probably the same painting which Grimston recorded at West Wycombe six years later.22 Whether Dashwood had seen this canvas hanging in Lefroy’s house in Livorno during his Grand Tour cannot be determined with certainty but the taste of this sophisticated collector clearly left a strong impression on him.

Lefroy was also closely connected to the man who shaped Dashwood’s taste more than any other: when Lefroy’s daughter Phoebe married Count Carlo del Medico Staffetti in 1767, one of the witnesses was the Florentine nobleman Antonio Niccolini (1701–1769).23 Niccolini was born in Florence in 1701 as the sixth son of the Marchese Filippo Niccolini and Lucrezia degli Albizzi (fig. 7). Educated by the Jesuits at the Collegio di San Giovannino, he took minor orders in order to be able to receive ecclesiastical benefices. After graduating from the University of Pisa with the dual degree in civil and canon law (in utroque iure) that was the customary preparation for a career in the church, he moved to Rome in 1723 to work as a canon lawyer. Niccolini quickly established himself not only in the legal profession but also as a theologian, philosopher and antiquary. As the last, he became an important behind-the-scenes contributor to the monumental Museum Florentinum (1731–66), Anton Francesco Gori’s catalogue of Florentine antiquities and paintings.24

Abbot Antonio Niccolini

Figure 7.
Pier Leone Ghezzi, Abbot Antonio Niccolini, circa 1725. Pen and iron gall ink over graphite on laid paper, 30.6 × 21.8 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, Joseph F. McCrindle Collection (2009.70.126).

Digital image courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

The collection of coins and medals in the Niccolini family palace on via de’ Servi comprised about four thousand objects, the most important of which were published by Antonio’s brother Giuseppe in 1728 in a book that refers to their father’s collection as the ‘museum of Filippo Niccolini’.25 In October 1739, shortly before Dashwood’s arrival in Florence, Charles de Brosses visited Antonio to see the collection and characterised him as ‘an extraordinary man; I have yet to find someone on my travels who combines such a clarity of intellect with such grace, such a prodigious memory and ease of speaking, and such a wide-ranging knowledge on any topic one could imagine, from adjusting a female headdress to Newton’s calculus.’26 The same month, Montesquieu sent Niccolini a letter recommending Dashwood to the Florentine polymath – or, as he put it, one man of letters to another.27 The pair do not appear to have been in contact during Niccolini’s first stay in London in 1725, when he sat for a full-length portrait by Thomas Gibson.28 They did meet during Dashwood’s first visit to Rome in 1731 and subsequently spent time together in Florence and Livorno in 1739–40, as Niccolini fondly recalled in a letter in 1763.29

While living in England from October 1746 until June 1748, Niccolini befriended Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707–1751). His frequent visits to Cliveden led Horace Walpole to remark that ‘Niccolini sups continually with the Prince of Wales, and learns the constitution!’30 At Cliveden he would also have encountered Dashwood, who had been introduced into the circle of the Prince of Wales by his close friend, George Bubb Dodington (1691–1762). After his return to Florence, Niccolini continued to correspond with Dashwood until at least 1763.

Two other paintings owned by Dashwood speak eloquently of the formative influence that the stay in Florence in 1739–40 had on his taste, and of his desire to commemorate the city at West Wycombe: a portrait of the Florentine composer and violinist Francesco Maria Veracini (1690–1768), painted by Franz Ferdinand Richter (1693–c.1743) in Florence in 1739 (fig. 8), and a considerably later view of the Piazza San Pier Maggiore in Florence by Vincenzo Torrigiani (1742–1770).31

Francesco Maria Veracini

Figure 8.
Franz Ferdinand Richter, Francesco Maria Veracini, 1739. Oil on canvas, 87 × 71 cm. West Wycombe Park.

Digital image courtesy of West Wycombe Park / Photo: Rodolfo Acevedo Rodriguez. (All rights reserved)

Veracini was considered one of Europe’s best violinists and was also successful as a composer. Until 1738, he had been employed in London by the Opera of the Nobility, the company supported by the Prince of Wales and later by Charles Sackville, Earl of Middlesex (1711–1769), who had been on the Grand Tour with Dashwood in 1731 and was a fellow founder of the Society of Dilettanti.32 In 1739 Veracini was temporarily in Florence and it is likely that Dashwood, who must have known him in London, acquired the portrait by Richter at this time. Two years earlier, the German artist had portrayed the Earl of Middlesex in the dress of a Roman general, strongly reminiscent of operatic costume.33

In the genre of landscape painting, Dashwood assembled a remarkably comprehensive group of works by Torrigiani, Jan Frans van Bloemen, Francesco Zuccarelli, Marco Ricci and Hendrik Frans van Lint. The subjects of most of these views are quintessential Grand Tour material: the Doge’s Palace and the Grand Canal in Venice, both somewhat implausibly attributed by Langley to Zuccarelli,34 a classical landscape by van Bloemen (fig. 9),35 a landscape with ruins given to Marco Ricci,36 and a pair of Mediterranean harbour scenes by van Lint (fig. 10).37 Two Roman views by Gaspare Vanvitelli, depicting Saint Peter’s Square and the Piazza del Popolo, were at West Wycombe Park until 1986 but are not identifiable in the early inventories.38 What this group has in common is that they are relatively small-scale pictures of the kind that were readily available for sale either during Dashwood’s Grand Tour or after 1740, when he continued to acquire paintings through Lefroy. All are by artists who produced high-quality works but did not achieve fame (or prices) on the level of Canaletto or Giovanni Paolo Panini. Dashwood generally appears to have preferred to buy existing works rather than commission paintings from the artists most in demand among British Grand Tourists; instead of one of the ubiquitous ruin capricci by Panini, he chose to represent the monuments of antiquity by an Arch of Constantine then thought to be by Viviano Codazzi.39

Classical Landscape with Figures and Castellated Palace

Figure 9.
Jan Frans van Bloemen, Classical Landscape with Figures and Castellated Palace, undated. Oil on copper, 24 × 30 cm. West Wycombe Park.

Digital image courtesy of West Wycombe Park / Photo: Rodolfo Acevedo Rodriguez. (All rights reserved)

Mediterranean Seaport with a Crenellated Castle and Boats

Figure 10.
Hendrik Frans van Lint, Mediterranean Seaport with a Crenellated Castle and Boats, undated. Oil on canvas, 27 × 40 cm. West Wycombe Park.

Digital image courtesy of West Wycombe Park / Photo: Rodolfo Acevedo Rodriguez. (All rights reserved)

The hang of the collection at West Wycombe Park cannot be reconstructed with any degree of certainty as paintings are likely to have migrated not only from room to room but also between the country house and Dashwood’s London residence in Hanover Square. The inventory of 1782 lacks artist names but when read in combination with the early lists compiled by Grimston, Langley and Neale,40 it allows a reliable reconstruction of the collection’s scope at the time of Dashwood’s death. He was confident in the aesthetic formation he received in Tuscany from Niccolini and Lefroy, had an eye for undervalued artists and was unafraid to buy against prevailing fashion. In this the collection parallels the manner in which canonical models are cited in the interior decoration of West Wycombe while at the same time departing from accepted norms.41 Subsequent sales of pictures from West Wycombe, as well as a few new acquisitions, have altered the character of the collection, yet the remarkable individualism – only occasionally crossing the border into eclecticism – of Dashwood’s taste is still clearly discernible at West Wycombe.


  • Peter Björn Kerber is curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. Formerly, he was assistant paintings curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where in 2017 he organized the exhibition 'Eyewitness Views. Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe’, and wrote the accompanying book of the same title. In 2007–9, Kerber was the co-curator of the Pompeo Batoni exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the National Gallery, London, and the Palazzo Ducale, Lucca.


  1. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Report on the Manuscripts of the Earl of Verulam Preserved at Gorhambury, London: HMSO, 1906, pp. 243–4.

  2. Francesco Furini, Saint Mary Magdalene, oil on canvas, 97 x 84 cm, West Wycombe Park, private collection.

  3. Both Vannis were sold from West Wycombe Park at Christie’s, London, 4 July 1986 (72), when they were acquired by the National Art Collections Fund for the National Trust.

  4. Charles McCorquodale, ed., Painting in Florence 1600–1700, exh. cat., London, Royal Academy of Arts; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, 1979, London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1979, pp. 88–9, cat. no. 37; Francesca Baldassari, ‘Le opere di devozione pubblica e privata di Giovanni Martinelli’, in Luca Canonici, ed., Giovanni Martinelli: da Montevarchi pittore in Firenze, Florence: Aska, 2011, 99 (‘La versione qualitativamente più alta’). Offered Sotheby’s, New York, 25 January 2001 (189, unsold). (A different version, with an additional figure at upper centre, sold Sotheby’s, London, 9 December 2004 [181].)

  5. Charles McCorquodale, ‘A Dark Century: The English Taste for Later Tuscan Painting’, Connoisseur, March 1979, p. 176, mentions several of the paintings at West Wycombe without discussing how or why the collection was assembled.

  6. See Brinsley Ford and John Ingamells, eds, A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701–1800: Compiled from the Brinsley Ford Archive, New Haven and London: Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 1997, p. 278.

  7. For British Grand Tour collecting in the eighteenth century, see James Stourton and Charles Sebag-Montefiore, The British as Art Collectors: From the Tudors to the Present, London: Scala, 2012, pp. 85–99, 115–25.

  8. West Wycombe Archives, ‘Inventory. Hanover Square 1781–West Wycombe Park 1782’, n.p., Furini in First Hall (no. 28); Vanni pair and Martinelli in Portico Room (no. 25).

  9. Thomas Langley, The History and Antiquities of the Hundred of Desborough, and Deanery of Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, London: Faulder, 1797, pp. 415–17.

  10. Both inscribed on reverse ‘Di Cesare Dandini’. See McCorquodale, 1979, pp. 38–40, cat. nos 12 and 13; Sandro Bellesi, Cesare Dandini, Turin: Artema, 1996, p. 169, cat. nos 113a, 113b. Sold Christie’s, London, 11 April 1986 (76); Christie’s, London, 18 November 2015 (120).

  11. ‘Inventory. Hanover Square 1781–West Wycombe Park 1782’, in Portico Room (no. 25).

  12. Ford and Ingamells, 1997, p. 278.

  13. The Dandini paintings are listed in the inventory of Palazzo del Chiaro (later the Palazzo Tolomei Biffi) dated 7 August 1741: Florence, Archivio di Stato, Compagnie Religiose Soppresse da Pietro Leopoldo, Compagnia della Purificazione della Vergine e di San Zanobi, no. 1659, Eredità del Chiaro (1630–1777), insert Y, ‘Interessi diversi dell’eredità del Chiaro (1740–1777)’, ff. 1r–39v, ‘Inventario dei dipinti, delle sculture e degli arredi donati inter vivos da Pier Giovanni del Chiaro alla Compagnia della Purificazione della Vergine e di San Zanobi detta di San Marco’, f. 22v, no. 270: ‘Due quadri con cornice nera con rapporti dorati e parte di detta cornice dorata fatti in figura di ottangolo che in uno vi è il ritratto di Santa Caterina delle ruote e nell’altro il ritratto di Santa Rosa di Cesare Dandini’; transcribed in Maria Cecilia Fabbri, ‘Gherardini, Nasini e altri artisti in Palazzo del Chiaro a Firenze’, Nuovi studi, 3 (1998), no. 6, p. 174.

  14. See Giuseppe Maria Mecatti, Storia genealogica della nobiltà, e cittadinanza di Firenze, vol. 1, Naples: Di Simone, 1754, p. 44.

  15. ‘Interessi diversi dell’eredità del Chiaro (1740–1777)’, unfoliated, cited in Fabbri, 1998, pp. 161, 177 n. 20.

  16. See J. A. P. Lefroy, ‘Anthony Lefroy 1703–1779, Merchant at Leghorn’, Proceedings of the Huguenot Society in London, 23, no. 4 (1980), pp. 240–51. For the numismatic collection see Anthony Lefroy, Catalogus numismaticus Musei Lefroyani, Livorno: Coltellini, 1763; Cristina Cagianelli, ‘La collezione di antichità del mercante inglese Anthony Lefroy’, in Stefano Bruni, ed., Alle origini di Livorno: l’età etrusca e romana, exh. cat., Livorno, Granai di Villa Mimbelli, 2009, Florence: Polistampa, 2009, pp. 67–74.

  17. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Dashwood Papers, B 11/12/17–20, 12 November 1754; B 11/12/16a, 22 April 1754; B 11/25/27, 10 March 1755; B 11/12/25, 19 June 1755; B 11/12/24, 10 January 1756; B 11/12/28, 16 April 1756. See also Tim Knox, ‘Sir Francis Dashwood of West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire, as a Collector of Ancient and Modern Sculpture’, in Nicholas Penny and Eike Schmidt, eds, Collecting Sculpture in Early Modern Europe, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008, p. 409.

  18. After Peter Paul Rubens, Holy Family with Saint Anne, oil on canvas, 120 x 92 cm, West Wycombe Park, private collection. The painting is a variant copy of the central group in Rubens’s Holy Family with Saint Francis, c.1626–30, Royal Collection.

  19. Not listed in Nicola Spinosa, Ribera: l’opera completa, 2nd ed., Naples: Electa, 2006.

  20. See Lefroy, 1868, p. 54.

  21. Ibid., p. 67; Frits Lugt, Répertoire des catalogues de ventes publiques interessant l’art ou la curiosité: Première période vers 1600–1825, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1938, no. 1294; Getty Provenance Index Br-A662, (accessed 25 November 2019).

  22. Abraham Langford, London, 11 May 1763 (52).

  23. See the contract of marriage transcribed in John Henry Lefroy, Notes and Documents Relating to the Family of Loffroy, of Cambray prior to 1587, of Canterbury 1587–1779, now Chiefly Represented by the Families of Lefroy of Carriglas, Co. Longford, Ireland, and of Itchel, Hants, with Branches in Australia and Canada, Woolwich: Royal Artillery Institution, 1868, pp. 71–2.

  24. See Mario Rosa, ‘Un “giansenista” difficile nell’Europa del ’700: Antonio Niccolini’, in Studi di storia medievale e moderna per Ernesto Sestan, 2 vols, Florence: Olschki, 1980, vol. 2, pp. 761–91; Renato Pasta, ‘Niccolini, Antonio Maria’, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 78, Rome: Treccani, 2013, pp. 322–5.

  25. Giuseppe Niccolini, Imperatorum romanorum regum populorum et urbium numismatum aureorum quae Florerentiae in musaeo Philippi Niccolini marchionis Ponti Sacci &c. asservantur simplex descriptio, Florence, 1728. For the collection see also Giuseppe Bianchi, Ragguaglio delle antichità e rarità che si conservano nella Galleria mediceo-imperiale di Firenze, Florence: Stamperia Imperiale, 1759, p. 119. For the palace, see Fabio Sottili, ‘Palazzo Niccolini: due episodi inediti di “grandeur” architettonica di Ferdinando Ruggieri e Pietro Hostini nella Firenze della prima metà del ’700’, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 47 (2003), pp. 440–500.

  26. Charles de Brosses, Lettres familières, ed. Giuseppina Cafasso, 3 vols, Naples: Centre Jean Bérard, 1991, vol. 1, p. 183: ‘C’est un maître homme que cet abbé Niccolini; je n’en ai pas encore trouvé un sur la route qui eût autant de justesse et d’agrément dans l’esprit, une mémoire et une facilité de parler aussi grandes, ni des connaissances aussi étendues sur toutes choses imaginables, depuis la façon d’ajuster une fontange jusqu’au calcul intégral de Newton’.

  27. Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, Correspondance, II (1731–1747, lettres 365–651) [= Oeuvres complètes, vol. 19], ed. Philip Stewart and Catherine Volpilhac-Auger, Lyon: ENS, 2014, p. 182, Montesquieu to Niccolini, 4 October 1739: ‘Monsieur le chevalier Dashwood est un homme de lettres que je vous présente, et je le présente à un homme de lettres; il vous estimera autant que je fais, mais il ne vous aimera pas tant. Je vous prie de lui rendre le séjour de votre ville agréable.’

  28. Thomas Gibson, Antonio Niccolini, signed and dated 1725, oil on canvas, 166 x 115 cm, private collection. See Miles Barton, ‘A Man of Sense: Thomas Gibson’s Portrait of Antonio Niccolini (1701–1769)’, Georgian Group Journal, 21 (2013), pp. 199–202; sold Christie’s, London, 9 December 2011 (48).

  29. Bod. Dashwood Papers, B 11/4/11a, Antonio Niccolini to Francis Dashwood, 13 May 1763: ‘Beato quel primo momento, in cui in Roma nel 1731 mi accordatte la vostra amicizia, e me la confermatte in Firenze, ed in Livorno, e poi di nuovo in Firenze intorno il 1740, ed in Inghilterra nel 1746, 1747, & 1748’.

  30. Horace Walpole to Horace Mann, 25 December 1746, The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence, ed. W. S. Lewis, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1954, vol. 19, p. 348; see also Walpole to Mann, 27 January 1747 and 1 September 1747, ibid., pp. 362, 436.

  31. Probably a version of Vincenzo Torrigiani, Piazza San Pier Maggiore, c.1760–70, tempera on parchment, 53 x 66 cm, Florence, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze; see Emanuele Barletti, ed., Vedute di Firenze tra il Seicento e il Novecento dalla Collezione dell’Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, exh. cat., Florence, Villa Bardini, 2009, Florence: Polistampa, 2009, cat. no. 37. The composition is closely based on a view drawn by Giuseppe Zocchi, engraved by Pietro Monaco and published as pl. XVII of Scelta di XXIV vedute delle principali contrade, piazze, chiese e palazzi della città di Firenze, Florence: Allegrini, 1744 (London, British Museum, inv. 1922,0410.142.20).

  32. See Thomas McGeary, ‘Handel, Prince Frederick, and the Opera of the Nobility Reconsidered’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 7 (1998), pp. 156–78.

  33. Franz Ferdinand Richter, Charles Sackville, Earl of Middlesex, 1737, oil on canvas, 245 x 153 cm, Knole, Trustees of the Sackville Estate.

  34. No paintings by Zuccarelli of Venice’s Doge’s Palace or the Grand Canal are known; see Federica Spadotto, Francesco Zuccarelli, Milan: Alfieri, 2007.

  35. See Andrea Busiri Vici, Jan Frans van Bloemen ‘Orizzonte’ e l’origine del paesaggio romano settecentesco, Rome: Bozzi, 1974.

  36. Circle of Marco Ricci, Italianate Landscape with Figures Beneath Ruins, oil on canvas, 65 x 88 cm, sold Sotheby’s, London, 19 April 1989 (155).

  37. See Andrea Busiri Vici, Peter, Hendrik e Giacomo van Lint: tre pittori di Anversa del ’600 e ’700 lavorano a Roma, Rome: Bozzi, 1987.

  38. Two Roman views by Gaspare Vanvitelli, oil on canvas, 27 x 65 cm each, sold Christie’s, London, 4 July 1986 (62); see Giuliano Briganti, Gaspar van Wittel, ed. Laura Laureati and Ludovica Trezzani, Milan: Electa, 1996, p. 172.

  39. Attrib. to Viviano Codazzi, Arch of Constantine, oil on canvas, 73 x 98 cm, West Wycombe Park, private collection. See David Ryley Marshall, Viviano and Niccolò Codazzi and the Baroque Architectural Fantasy, Rome: Jandi Sapi, 1993, pp. 215–16, under cat. no. VC 101, fig. VC 101c, as close to Niccolò Codazzi but probably not by his hand.

  40. John Preston Neale, ‘List of the principal Pictures at West Wycombe House’, in Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen, in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, vol. 6, London: Sherwood, Jones and Co., 1823, n.p.

  41. See Adriano Aymonino, ‘Playing with the Canon: West Wycombe Park’s Iconography and the Principle of Citation’, in this case study: ‘However, if in most other interiors these images were used to affirm the owner’s affiliation to this normative aesthetic, or displayed in a bid to reform national taste, at West Wycombe they were reassembled in the name of wit, playfulness and even irreverence, which was typical of Sir Francis’ approach to established cultural hierarchies.



by Peter Björn Kerber
20 November 2020
House Essay
All rights reserved
Cite as
Peter Björn Kerber, "Francis Dashwood’s Paintings Collection at West Wycombe: the Tuscan Influence", Art and the Country House,