Original Sketches

with some elucidatory extracts from a Journal
made during an Excursion from Naples thro’

Sicily

In the year 1825

by Elizabeth Campbell


All at once as we commenced a descent a scene of exceeding beauty burst upon us, Etna unveiled in full majesty, Taormina aloft on the dizzy Cliff, below the sea in calm majesty, the village of Giardini, the whole lighted by the brilliant beams of a setting sun.”
(Elizabeth Cambell, 19th April 1825)


” … the gentlemen at length found an olive tree … Here we ate our cold provisions and indulged in a nap, mine not long, as I went under some rock to sketch the repose of the party, and busily so engaged was rather electrified by a black snake … I thought at first it had bit me … Crowds of the women and children of the village, had wandered out to look at us. One old woman had a basket full of wild artichokes which we found very refreshing eating.”
(Elizabeth Campbell, Monte Allegro, 14th May 1825)

Elizabeth Campbell, ‘Mr Walker’, ‘Mr Stroud’, ‘Mr Moor’, with ‘Deaks’ and ‘Nip’ the dogs, “Sailed on board the King Ferdinand Steam Packet for Messina in Sicily on 26th April 1825”. They passed Capri, Stromboli (disappointed to have missed seeing the running lava at night), Lipari, and Scilla on the Calabrian coast, before sailing into the Straights of Messina. On land they travelled down the east coast; past Taormina and Etna to Giardini, then on to Catania and Augusta, reaching Syracuse on the 6th May. From Syrcuse they cut inland to Palazzolo, hitting the southern coast at Gela and working their way west to Agrigento and Sciacca, arriving at Salinunte on the 15th May. They moved inland again and climbed to Salemi and the temples at Segesta before dropping down to Alcamo on the northern coast. They reached Palermo on 17th May and left Sicily on the 20th … less than a month after arrival.


Although easily identifiable in these watercolours wearing her yellow bonnet, Elizabeth Campbell has remained elusive. We know she visited the Italian Lakes and Lazio in 1824 and that she was in the Abruzzi in 1826. She also visited Switzerland regularly throughout the 1820s; her trips here suggesting she had more than a passing connection with the place. But, try as we might, we have not yet unearthed any biographical details.


Nevertheless, her confident, lively watercolours, accompanied by extracts from her Journal, give us a clear sense of the woman. Continental travel had surged in the years after Waterloo, but a journey on horse/mule-back through Sicily in 1825, and at the rate that her party moved, was no breeze. Campbell was clearly an experienced and energetic traveller. Her drawings and journal entries demonstrate her education, intelligence and genuine interest in everything from the Sicilian flora and fauna, to its history, architecture and agriculture. She had a particular, and informed, interest in Geology, which may hold the key to identifying ‘EC’, or one of her party.


While watercolours by women travellers of this date are not uncommon, to have works illustrating a complete journey, accompanied by extracts transcribed from the artist’s travel journal is rare. We have illustrated each of the Journal extracts alongside the watercolours, but have also typed them in full for ease of reading; click on the watercolours to read their full entries.


Elizabeth Cambell lightly stuck her watercolours and the extracts from her journal into an album. Consequently they are entirely unfaded. They have been carefully removed from the album by our conservators, and the watercolours mounted in acid free board.

The works are sold mounted. But a simple gold, oak or black frame, plus UV glass, can be made for £50. Postage to UK addresses is £15 unframed, and £25 framed. We can quote for international postage.


  • 1. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Italy, ‘Isld of Capree [Capri] – 26th Apr 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 4.5×7.5 inches.
    £275
  • 2. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Italy, ‘Island of Capree [Capri] – 26th Apr 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 4.5×7.5 inches.
    £275
  • 3. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily, ‘Island of Stromboli. 27 Apr 1825’. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 4.5×10.25 inches.
    £325
  • 4. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily, ‘Lippary [Lipari] Isles – 27th Apr 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 4.5×7.5 inches.
    £275
  • 5. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily, ‘Lippary [Lipari] Isles – 27th Apr 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 4.5×7.5 inches.
    £275
  • 6. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily, ‘Lippary [Lipari] Isles – 27th Apr 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 4.5×7.5 inches.
    £225
  • 7. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    IItaly, ‘Scylla [Scilla] – 27th Apr 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 4.5×7.5 inches.
    £275
  • 8. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘La Scaletta – 29th Apr 1825 Sicily’; Deaks in the foreground and Elizabeth Campbell in the middle distance. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×10.75 inches.
    £475
  • 9. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘La Forza [Forza d’Agrò]. Sicily. 29th Apr 1825. Marino of Le Scaletta’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 10. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Idoga[?] said to be the oldest Town in Sicily. 29th Apr 1825’; Elizabeth Campbell with Mr Walker or Mr Moore and a guide, Taormina in the distance. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £675
  • 11. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Idoga[?] Said to be the oldest Town in Sicily. 29th Apr 1825’; Taormina in the distance. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £575
  • 12. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Etna & Village of Giardini – Sicily 29th April 1825’; a guide, Elizabeth Campbell and either Mr Walker or Mr Moore just visible. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £575
  • 13. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Monti Rosso & Nicolosi. Sicily May 3rd 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 14. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Castello d’ L Aci [Aci Castello] 4th May 1825. Sicily / Cylopean Islands’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 15. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Cyclopian Islands near Catania Sicily. May 4th 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 16. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Ibla from Lagnione. 5th May 1825. Sicily’ (sic); Elizabeth Campbell watching a Lettiga. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 17. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Augusta – May 5th 1825. Sicily’; Oleander and Prickly Pears. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 18. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Syracuse May 6th 1825 – Sicily’; Elizabeth Campbell on the shore, her party behind in a boat having gathered Papyrus. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×22 inches.
    £775
  • 19. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily, ‘Ear of Dionysus Syracuse – 6th May 1825’; Mr Stroud and Deaks, and either Mr Walker or Mr Moor being winched up to a small chamber in the rock-face. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 7.5×4.5 inches.
    £475
  • 20. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily, ‘Interior Ear of Dionysus May 6th 1825. Sicily’, with Elizabeth Campbell, a guide and Mr Stroud seated. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 7.5×4.5 inches.
    £475
  • 21. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Interior of a quarry near Syracuse. May 6th 1825. Sicily’; Elizabeth Campbell, Nip and Mr Stroud. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £575
  • 22. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Syracuse and Ortygia [Ortigia] part of the Amphitheatre aqueduct & Theatre. May 7. 1825 – Sicily’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £675
  • 23. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Nymphea at Syracuse. Sicily. May 7th 1825’ (sic); Elizabeth Cambell, Mr Stroud and either Mr Walker or Mr Moor. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 24. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Quarry near Syracuse 7th May 1825. Sicily’ / ‘Interior of the Nymphae at Syracuse _ Sicily May 7th 1825’. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £675
  • 25. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily, ‘General view on leaving Pallazuolo [Palazzolo] 9th May 1825’ (sic) showing ‘Buccheri / Mount Etna / Lake of Lentini / Catania’; Mr Walker, Mr Moore, Mr Stroud and Deaks are seated on the left, with Elizabeth Campbell just visible on the right. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×22 inches.
    £775
  • 26. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Terra Nuova – May 10th 1825. Sicily’; Elizabeth Campbell and Nip watch locals arrive on the beach with their donkeys to visit the wells. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £575
  • 27. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Girgenti, ‘Temple of Juno. May 13th 1825. Sicily’; Elizabeth Campbell, Mr Walker, Mr Moor and a guide. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 28. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Girgenti 13th May 1825 … Sicily’ the ‘Temple of Concord’ and ‘Temple of Juno’; Deaks and Mr Stroud on the path, Elizabeth Campbell and Nip taking the view and either Mr Walker or Mr Moor climbing in the foreground. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £575
  • 29. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Birdseye view of Girgenti from our room. May 13th 1825. Sicily’. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £675
  • 30. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily, ‘Monte Allegro. 14th May 1825’. ‘Repose of our Party _ Deaks!! Mr Walker, EC, Mr Stroud. Mr. Moor’. ‘Nip’ can just be seen at the base of the wall. The black snake that ‘electrified’ Campbell is in the foreground Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £675
  • 31. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Sciacca. Rice grounds. May 14th 1825. Sicily; Elizabeth Campbell and either Mr Walker or Mr Moore to the left. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £575
  • 32. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Salinunti [Salinunte]. 15th May 1825. Sicily’; Mr Walker, Mr Moore, Mr Stroud, Deaks and Elizabeth Campbell. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×10.75 inches.
    £375
  • 33. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Salinunti [Salinunte] 15th May 1825. Sicily’ (sic); Mr Walker or Mr Moore with Mr Stroud to the left. Elizabeth Campbell riding on the right. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 34. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Salemi. May 16th 1825. Sicily’; Mr Stroud and Deaks on the left, Elizabeth Campbell on horseback. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 35. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Temple of Segesta May 16th 1825. Sicily’. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £675
  • 36. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘View from Temple of Segesta May 16th 1825. Sicily’; Elizabeth Campbell and guides. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 37. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Monte Pellegrino from the Marino Palermo. 17th May 1825. Sicily’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×12.5 inches.
    £575
  • 38. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Part of bay of Palermo from the Marino. 19th May. 1825. Sicily’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £575
  • 39. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Leaving Palermo. May 20th 1825. Sicily’. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £575
  • 40. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    ‘Leaving Palermo. May 20th 1825. Sicily’. Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £475
  • 41. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily; ‘Capo Zafferano’. Watercolour. Inscribed. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £275
  • 42. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Italy; ‘Island of Capree [Capri]. May 21st 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×10.75 inches.
    £375
  • 43. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Italy; ‘Island of Capree [Capri]. May 21st 1825’ (sic). Watercolour. Inscribed and dated, 1825. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 8×11 inches.
    £375
  • 44. Campbell (Nineteenth Century), Elizabeth
    Sicily; ‘Sicilian Costumes Palermo’. Watercolour. Signed with initials and inscribed. Provenance: An album of watercolours by Elizabeth Campbell. 6.5×9 inches.
    £375