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The Women of Sorrento Drawing in the Boats

John Roddam Spencer StanhopePossibly 1870 - 1880

De Morgan Collection

De Morgan Collection
United Kingdom

A late work, to judge from its style, the picture was presumably based on a scene that Stanhope had witnessed during a trip to Sorrento, situated on the North side of the Sorrentine Peninsula on the Gulf of Naples. This was, of course, far from his home outside Florence, and he is most likely to have gone there either on holiday or in search of a warmer climate during the winter months. In fact, given his susceptibility to asthma, this may well have been a regular habit.

Sorrento is situated in an area of great beauty and is, as the guidebook says, 'an enchanting place at all seasons'. In the nineteenth century it was a favourite winter residence for foreigners. Ibsen finished Peer Gynt here in 1867 and here, some ten years later, Wagner and Neitzsche had their famous quarrel.

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