The 30-year-old Wilhelm Wach used the landscape sketchbook and a pencil (and occasionally a pen) on a two-week journey in July 1818 through mainly Umbria to record landscapes and architectures as well as artworks for himself as a memento. He only left a few pages blank and concentrated mostly on the contours ‒ only the more detailed pen studies are more richly defined by hatching.
The journey, which Wach probably undertook from Rome during his stay in Italy from 1817 to 1819, brought the scholarship holder, who was supported by Frederick William III, via Montefiascone northwest of Rome to the Umbrian cities of Orvieto, Spoleto, Trevi, Assisi and Perugia and finally to the Tuscan city of Fiesole. He sketched landscapes and architectures that fascinated him on this route in this sketchbook with quick, sometimes roughly outlined, other times more detailed pencil strokes. Occasionally, he pencilled individual scenes more precisely on a double page and worked them out with dense strokes of pen and brown. The artworks included in this sketchbook, some of which are only details and some of which are complete copies, and which Wach almost exclusively sketched in pencil in churches and monasteries, mostly in portrait format and occasionally with pen and brown ink, are mostly by Renaissance artists ‒ as well as those reproductions made in Italy in his other two sketchbooks in the Städel Museum (Inv. 16296 and 16298) ‒, in this case, primarily the quattrocento.
The sketchbook’s recto pages were later pencil-foiled most probably by someone else, not counting the four sheets which were probably cut or torn out by Wach. The numbering of the book “II” on the front inner cover in pencil seems to have been made by yet another person, as well as other details that allow a chronological and content-related classification of the book in comparison to Wach’s other sketchbooks found in the Museum Städel.
For a full sketchbook description, please see “Research”.
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