— News Oil sketch identified as a view of the Colonna dell’Immacolata from the Via Macherroni, Palermo

Colonna dell’Immacolata from the Via Macherroni, Palermo

Colonna dell’Immacolata from the Via Macherroni, Palermo, after 1855, oil on paper by Thomas Stuart Smith (1813–1869)

The location of this deft oil sketch on paper – the first work on paper to be the subject of a discovery on Art Detective – is now known.

Kieran Owens opened the discussion by suggesting that it might be a view of the Piazza San Domenico, somewhere along the Via Macherroni, in Palermo, Italy. As evidence, he uploaded an image of the view of the Piazza today, which is unmistakably the same view shown in the picture.

Kieran found that the column was designed by Luigi Poletti who began to work on it in 1855. This, and the fact the column was dedicated to Pope Pius IX in 1857, helps to further narrow down the date of this work.

The Stirling Smith Art Gallery used this information found by Art Detective users to alter their record to Colonna dell’Immacolata Palermo, and were also able to add a date, ‘after 1855’.

Honor Greig, Art UK volunteer