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Pictor Ignotus [active 1890s]



[From the catalogue-in-progress for “Landscapes & Livestock”, a loan exhibition for Agincourt Homecoming in the Fall of 2015]

Pictor Ignotus



oil on wood panel/ 5 inches by 8 inches

Though the artist and actual title are unknown, a copy of Shelley’s sonnet “Ozymandias” had been attached to the back at the time of its acquisition: “I met a traveler from an antique land….” The painting has always borne that title. A virtual postcard from the 19th century, two persons converse in the foreground, speaking, no doubt, about the ruins in the desolate distance, which could be Egypt, Baalbek, or Carthage. Some have speculated that the large element is a fragment of a Roman aqueduct, which would place it in the southern extremities of Italy.

This is typical of small sketches done as studies for larger works, such as, for example, the collection’s two small works by August von Pettenkofen.



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