The Waterfalls at Tivoli
  • Tommaso Bigatti
  • Italy, early nineteenth century
  • The Waterfalls at Tivoli
  • Gouache over pencil,
    heightened with gum arabic, on vellum
  • dated and inscribed on an old mount: 1830/Bigatti
  • 131 × 214 mm

Although the life of the artist remains in obscurity, these detailed views of monuments near Rome can be attributed definitively to his hand. The high-quality miniature vedute with their tremendous luminosity are as typical of Bigatti as the imaginative borders, reminiscent of antique frescos.

The latter display an impressive inventiveness, with no single motif ever repeating itself. These views were probably created as decorative mementos for wealthy travelers on the so-called Grand Tour through Italy. The tomb of Caecilia Metella commemorates a female Roman aristocrat of the first century B.C. and is one of the largest and best preserved structures of the Appian Way.

The view of Tivoli in the second image shown here depicts the so-called Cascatelle Grandi, one of the three waterfalls of the river Aniene, for which the site has been famous since antiquity.

Sale, Sotheby’s London, April 1995, lot 254
(purchased from the artist in Rome in 1823),
sale, Christie’s London, April 2007, lot 376
(dated 1830 on an old mount)