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William Calder Marshall, Rome, to his father

RA Collection: Archive

Reference code



William Calder Marshall, Rome, to his father


18 May 1837



Extent & medium

7 pieces

Content Description

Quotes Byron in explaining his change of mood regarding a departure from Rome. All the other artists have urged him to stay, Gibson, Wyatt, Macdonald and "a shoal of small fry". His Hebe has brought him attention, he wishes to carve it in marble, and is close to securing a new studio. He is pleased to hear that Mr. Rhind bought his bas relief.

19th May - Provides an account of what he regards as a typical example of a Roman murder and criminal procedure.

24th May - He is pleased that Chantrey is to be asked about where in London he should find his studio, urges that a complement be passed to Chantrey concerning the quality of his busts. Sculpture is now practiced on a level with Phidias, while painting is degraded. Other than Lauder nothing should be said of the British painters in Rome. He regards renaissance sculpture as "trash", Bernini is "detestable" and Michelangelo is not great. Canova has reformed taste and made strides in simplicity. He has been trying to learn of the German schools, all he knows is they are supposed to be very good, he thinks James Milne may have studied in Germany.

25th May - He has received two notes of £25, marble is expensive, even in Rome. He will carve the figure himself and an ideal Italian head, which he has already modelled. He has a new studio nearer the fashionable part of the city, his landlord is Gott, the sculptor. He wishes to began a grand class of subject, The Creation of Adam when he first sees the Light. Describes the festivities for Corpus Domini. Describes a trip to Tivoli, antiquities of all sorts are very cheap in Rome, he has bought several small objects from Herculaeum.

26th May - He encloses flowers taken from the wall of the Colosseum.