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. 8x11 inches.

“Another of these quarries, called the Engineers well, and quite interior, now used as a rope walk, is close to this: from the various and brilliant colours of the rock, the forms in which it is cut and left standing, the humming of wheels, and moving figures, made a very picturesque appearance. There was a regular kind of flat, tile-like, appearance on the roof, or rather ceiling of this quarry, I could not account for, and the whole work is so smooth and beautiful, so different from our method of blasting the rock, that it is difficult to believe no other end was intended in these works than to obtain stone. It was, however, the customs of ye ancients to cut out the stone, the Column or the Capital, even with all the ornaments in the rock itself (some of which, half finished, may be seen in the Island, tho’ I alas! did not succeed in seeing them) unlike our method, of having a block of stone brought to work upon; they were enabled to take what dimensions they pleased on the very bosom of nature, which may be one reason why the component parts of their buildings are so enormous. The Greeks always built with the stone of the country, the Romans used marble.”

This work appears in the Group: ELIZABETH CAMPBELL - SICILY 1825

Description

“Another of these quarries, called the Engineers well, and quite interior, now used as a rope walk, is close to this: from the various and brilliant colours of the rock, the forms in which it is cut and left standing, the humming of wheels, and moving figures, made a very picturesque appearance. There was a regular kind of flat, tile-like, appearance on the roof, or rather ceiling of this quarry, I could not account for, and the whole work is so smooth and beautiful, so different from our method of blasting the rock, that it is difficult to believe no other end was intended in these works than to obtain stone. It was, however, the customs of ye ancients to cut out the stone, the Column or the Capital, even with all the ornaments in the rock itself (some of which, half finished, may be seen in the Island, tho’ I alas! did not succeed in seeing them) unlike our method, of having a block of stone brought to work upon; they were enabled to take what dimensions they pleased on the very bosom of nature, which may be one reason why the component parts of their buildings are so enormous. The Greeks always built with the stone of the country, the Romans used marble.”