c1846 Wm Forrest Print of Villa Fountain after Wm L Leitch


A fine looking large copper engraved print by William Forrest of the Roman Villa Fountain oil painting, by William Leighton Leitch.

The picture depicts a romanticised view of Rome, with young classical style women washing, carrying water and chatting by a stream under an aqueduct. There are ancient Roman buildings and ruins dotted about, typical of the artistic interest of the time. The engraving is titled VILLA FOUNTAIN and has both the names of the engraver and painter and Printer M. Queen. The original oil on canvas was painted by Leitch in Italy around 1835, whereas the engraving by Forrest probably dates to around 1846. An smaller engraving appeared in the recently published Illustrated London News, in 1846, thus likely sparking interest in the painting. The print was originally mounted on a canvas stretcher, that has since been remounted, framed and glazed. Condition is good, with a bit of discoloration on the edges.

William Leighton Leitch, British artist (1804-1883), was born in Glasgow and began his artistic career as an apprentice to a local sign painter. He then worked as a scene painter, first at the Glasgow Royal Theatre and later in London at the Queen’s Theatre and the Pavilion. At this time, he also travelled to Italy, gaining experience and amassing a large body of sketches and watercolours.

William Forrest (1805-1899) is best known for his landscape engravings. His works are based on pieces by Chevalier, Church, Lorraine, Waterloo, and Allan. William Forrest worked in both London and Edinburgh from where he established a healthy reputation for his landscapes and genre engravings.

Size image: 50 x 37 cm (19 ¾ x 14 ½ inches)
Size frame: 72 x 58.5 x 1.5 cm (28 ¼ x 23 x 5/8 inches)
Weight: 2737 g