This watercolour is a well-developed study for a missing oil painting by the Penrith-born artist Jacob Thompson.

The scene is in Northern Italy, where a group of villagers are returning home with the season's last load of grapes. It was during a visit to Italy in 1872 that Thompson began making preliminary sketches for The Close of the Vintage. The finished oil painting formed a companion to another oil entitled Rush bearing, a Lake District scene. Both works are similar in conception, grouping, and treatment, each using dramatic, mountainous scenery as a backdrop to the depiction of a local rural custom - in Italy returning from the grape harvest with the last load of fruit and in the Lake District bringing in the last gathering of rushes.


The vendor was the artist's great, great neice. She inherited the work through the Thompson family.

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