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, W. Roscoe, Allerton, to Henry Fuseli

Allerton, 1st Decr 1810

My Dear Friend,

It gave me great pleasure to
see your Handwriting, a small specimen
of which was lately conveyed to me by
Mr Johnson; & the more so, as it gave
me reason to believe that amidst all
changes of seasons & of circumstances,
you still continue to enjoy uninterrupted
health, & your accustom’d good spirits.
I have lately pulled down the
ancient part of my House at Allerton,
& built on the spot two good rooms_
a library & an eating room. In the
former I shall place over the chimney,
which is the only part that admits of
a picture, the Portrait of Leo X. with

, W. Roscoe, Allerton, to Henry Fuseli

the Cardinals de’ Medici & Rossi, said to
be painted by Giulio Romano after the
original of Raffaelle; but which, I think,
is more probably the copy mentioned by
Vasari, in his own life, as painted for Ottaviano
de’ Medici_ unless this same Ottaviano plays
the same trick upon the duke of Florence
as he had before done upon the Duke of
Mantua, in which case my picture may
be the original. It is in the highest tone
of colouring & in fine preservation. Several
persons who have seen both the picture
in the Louvre & that at Capo di Monte
have assured me that this appears in their
eyes so similar as not to be distinguisable
by memory.
My dining room _ 32 feet by 20 _ I intend
to decorate with your pictures only; but in
order to compleat it I want one to hang
over the chimney, which shou’d not be less
in the canvas than 6 feet by 4½ or 5_

If you can undertake to paint me this
for the balance of £200 _ which is due
on your note it will settle our accounts in
our life time & prevent any trouble to our
The subject I should wish to be
painted is the death of Lorenzo de’ Medici
or rather the interview between him &
Pico & Politiano a short time previous
to his death,; an account of which you
[w]ill find in the last Chap. of his [Life].
The figures I shou’d wish to be [half]
lengths, the size of life. Pray consider it;
& if you think proper to paint it, favour
me with your ideas in a slight sketch,
at your own convenience, when I shall
be happy to hear from you, & in the mean
time remain most affectionately & truly yours
W. Roscoe.

I am just republishing a colln of occasional
Tracts on the war. If you think it worth
while to call on Mess. Cadell & Davies &
ask for a copy in my name they will give it you.

, W. Roscoe, Allerton, to Henry Fuseli

Henry Fuseli Esqr RA
Royal Academy
Somerset House

W. Roscoe, Allerton, to Henry Fuseli

RA Collection: Archive

Archive context

Showing item 4 of 11 in this group

Reference code



W. Roscoe, Allerton, to Henry Fuseli


01 Dec 1810



Extent & medium

1 piece, 3pp.

Content Description

Roscoe informs Fuseli that he had lately pulled down the ancient part of his house at Allerton, and built two good rooms on the spot: a library and an eating room. He mentions his intention to place a portrait of Leo X with cardinals de' Medici and Rossi over the chimney in the library, and discusses whether the portrait was, as it was said to be, a copy by Romano after Raffaelle, or perhaps the original itself. Roscoe states that he wishes to decorate his dining room with Fuseli's pictures only, but in order to compleat it, wants one to hang over the chimney, not less in the canvas than 6 feet by 4½ or 5. If Fuseli could undertake to paint this for the balance of the £200 due on his note, it would settle their accounts in their lifetimes, and prevent any trouble to their executors. The subject Roscoe desires is the death of Lorenzo de' Medici, or rather an interview that took place shortly prior to his death. If willing to undertake the work, perhaps Fuseli could provide his ideas in slight sketch.


Weinglass, pp. 377f. Fuseli's reply is on pp. 380f.