Ploughing in the Campagna
Mason lived in Rome from his late twenties until the age of forty, painting picturesque local scenes such as this. The setting is the countryside outside Rome, long famous amongst artists for its clarity of light. In the right background is a famous Roman aqueduct, the Aqua Claudia. After Mason’s return to England in 1858 his work became more poetic and symbolic. Holt bought this work for 150 guineas (£157.50), the year after the artist’s death, when a studio sale released a number of his works onto the market.