Art Wednesday: Solomon Delane – Irish Landscape Painter

View of Lake Nemi, Italy 1770s Oil on canvas, 78 x 102 cm Private collection

View of Lake Nemi, Italy
1770s
Oil on canvas, 78 x 102 cm
Private collection

Solomon Delane (Delany; Delaney) was born in County Tipperary, the son of a Clergyman, Richard and his wife Sarah. He was brought up at Upper Coombe, Dublin, and received his training in the Dublin Schools under West, and where he also attended the Dublin Society’s School of Landscape and Ornament under James Mannin. He won a prize at the Dublin Society in 1750, when he was placed second in the order of merit.

About this time his father (1750) and brother Richard (1752) both died, leaving Delane with a comfortable income from a family portfolio of property in Dublin and elsewhere.

A View near Tivoli at Dawn 1777 Oil on canvas, 71 x 91 cm Private collection This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London in 1777. It was sent for exhibition from Rome. Delane worked in the classical manner of Claude Lorrain and many of his pictures were sold in London as Claude originals. This landscape idiom had been popularised by the Welsh-born painter Richard Wilson and Delane found many aristocratic clients in Rome who had developed a taste for such pictures. The painting of night scenes was popular amongst the immigre artistic community at Rome: Jacob More painted several, Joseph Wright, who painted numerous night scenes, and the Frenchman Volaire, who painted volcanoes by night. In these pictures, much approved by Goethe, and dating from the 1770's and 1780's, we may trace the onset and development of the Romantic movement. Delane had already visited the subject matter of Tivoli earlier in his stay in Rome, and had executed a set of four large canvases for Lord Charles Hope in 1763. We know that he was painting the subject again in the late 1770's.

A View near Tivoli at Dawn
1777
Oil on canvas, 71 x 91 cm
Private collection
This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London in 1777. It was sent for exhibition from Rome.
Delane worked in the classical manner of Claude Lorrain and many of his pictures were sold in London as Claude originals. This landscape idiom had been popularised by the Welsh-born painter Richard Wilson and Delane found many aristocratic clients in Rome who had developed a taste for such pictures.
The painting of night scenes was popular amongst the immigre artistic community at Rome: Jacob More painted several, Joseph Wright, who painted numerous night scenes, and the Frenchman Volaire, who painted volcanoes by night. In these pictures, much approved by Goethe, and dating from the 1770’s and 1780’s, we may trace the onset and development of the Romantic movement.
Delane had already visited the subject matter of Tivoli earlier in his stay in Rome, and had executed a set of four large canvases for Lord Charles Hope in 1763. We know that he was painting the subject again in the late 1770’s.

Soon after he travelled on his first Grand Tour to Italy where he arrived in Rome in 1755. Much of the next 15 years were spent by the artist in and around Rome, where he developed a distinctive and highly sophisticated landscape style which owes more to the refinements of the 17th century, and its debt to Claude Lorraine, than it does to the Romantic Topography of his own age.

In 1763 he was elected a member of the Society of Artists in London, and in 1766 was sending landscapes for exhibition at the Dublin Society of Artists. In July 1777 he was elected member of the Accademia di Disegno in Florence, and 1779 he went on a painting tour to Germany.

Delane is noted by many correspondents on the Grand Tour during the years to 1780, and he sold pictures to some of the most distinguished of them, including Nathaniel Dance’s client Lord Charles Hope, the Earl of Upper Ossory and Hugh Percy Lord Warworth.

Landscape with the Flight into Egypt c. 1772 Oil on copper, 48 x 61 cm Private collection The present classical landscape shows the cool silvery tonality which is the hallmark of the painter's style. It is one of two known paintings by the artist which are on copper, and may be dated to about 1772 when Delane was sharing accommodation in Rome with his fellow artist Hugh Primrose Dean.

Landscape with the Flight into Egypt
c. 1772
Oil on copper, 48 x 61 cm
Private collection
The present classical landscape shows the cool silvery tonality which is the hallmark of the painter’s style. It is one of two known paintings by the artist which are on copper, and may be dated to about 1772 when Delane was sharing accommodation in Rome with his fellow artist Hugh Primrose Dean.

In 1780 he was back in London where he exhibited pictures at the Royal Academy 1782-84; his work was held in high esteem as his pictures bore a strong similarity to his favourite model Claude Lorraine. He is said to have become very expert in imitating (and perhaps faking) the work of Claude, and he certainly also studiedGaspard Poussin.

Delane died in 1812 in Dublin, where he had lived for the last two decades of his life.

Crash

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