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Bridge at Narni

Artist Jean Thomas Thibault (French, 1757 - 1826)
Title Bridge at Narni (Paysage d'Italie: un Viaduc dans une région montagneuse)
Date 1788-1792
Medium Watercolor over graphite on paper
Dimensions Sheet: 16 5/8 × 24 3/4 in. (42.2 × 62.9 cm)
Image: 16 5/8 × 24 3/4 in. (42.2 × 62.9 cm)
Framed: 25 1/4 × 33 × 1 3/8 in. (64.1 × 83.8 × 3.5 cm)
Credit Line Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 69.80

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About this Work

The Ponte di Augusto was the largest Roman bridge ever constructed, and it is the most famous site in the Umbrian hill town of Narni. An almost identical watercolor by Jean Thomas Thibault with the inscription Pont d'Augusti à Narni is in the collection of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard, allowing us to identify the subject of this watercolor securely.

Thibault's watercolor reflects the neoclassical artist-traveler's interest in depicting classical ruins in picturesque or sublime landscapes. The small figures--grand tourists--congregated around the foot of the bridge give a sense of its monumental scale.

1969, Indiana University Art Museum purchase from the sale: "Dessins, Tableaux, Estampes Anciennes, Estampes Originales," cat. no. 42, Galerie Paul Prouté, Paris, France

?–1969, Galerie Paul Prouté, Paris, France

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

August 5, 2023–December 10, 2023, “Landscape and Abstraction in Watercolor 1780-1980,” Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

September 20–December 21, 2008, "The Grand Tour: Art and Travel, 1740-1914," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

June 15–September 2, 2007, "Architecture Real and Imagined," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

August 4–September 29, 1996, "Scenic Views: Eighteenth-Century Landscapes, Ruinscapes, and Cityscapes," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

January 16–March 3, 1985, "Drawings from the IUAM Collection," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloominngton, IN

October 27, 1977–May 14, 1978, "From Delacroix to Cezanne: French Watercolor Landscapes of the Nineteenth Century," University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park, MD, October 17, 1977–?; J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY, January 9–February 19, 1978; University of Michigan Museum of Art, April 1–May 14, 1978

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"Bridge at Narni | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.