Anne Langton - Gentlewoman, Pioneer Settler and Artist: The Grand Tour - Continued - Page Banner

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The Langtons spent two extended periods of several months at Rome in 1819 and 1820. Rome was the culmination of their time in Italy as it was the artistic and historical mecca for many artists, writers, tourists.


The Grand Canal, Venice, 1819
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The Grand Canal, Venice, 1819
Anne Langton
Graphite pen and ink on cream wove paper
Reference Code: F 1077-8-3-2-3
Archives of Ontario, I0008190

View From the Hôtel d'Europe at Venice, 1819
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View From the Hôtel d'Europe at Venice, 1819
Anne Langton
Monochromatic watercolour on cream wove paper
Reference Code: F 1077-8-3-2-24
Archives of Ontario, I0008191

The image above, of the Grand Canal in Venice, and the more fully-worked version to the right, show fourteen year-old Langton's already impressive skills, imparted by various drawing masters. These views show the Dogana (Custom House) on the right. The church of Santa Maria della Salute is seen in the far distance.


Costume d'Albano, 1818
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Costume d'Albano, 1818
O. Ignatius Roma
Graphite on cream wove paper
Reference Code: F 1077-8-4-1-22
Archives of Ontario, I0008348

Costume d'Albano, 1818
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Costume d'Albano, 1818
Anne Langton
Graphite on cream wove paper
Reference Code: F 1077-9-1-6
Archives of Ontario, I0008440

These two images demonstrate the importance of a student's copying works by established artists. Anne's painstaking "translation" attests to her keen powers of observation and evolving technical ability. Sr. O. Ignatius may have been one of the drawing masters hired by the Langtons while at Rome.


Set against the studio backdrop of distant Vesuvius (which would not, in fact, have been visible from Rome), Langton, at fourteen or fifteen years of age, is presented to the world as the cultured young débutante-to be. Her muslin dress, regal pose, direct gaze and fresh complexion suggest a refined, cultured girl on the brink of womanhood. Her accessories, including the diadem-like, plaited hairband and embroidered purple wrap reflect her social status.

She is poised to assume a privileged place within the upper ranks of British society when she returns from her wide travels and education.

Portrait of Anne Langton by an artist (?C.B.) at Rome, 1819
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Portrait of Anne Langton by an
artist (?C.B.) at Rome, 1819
Watercolour on paper
Reference Code: F 1077-9-4-3
Archives of Ontario, I0008434


As part of The Grand Tour the Langtons spent a year in Frankfurt, where Elisa von Traitteur and Anne became close friends, exchanging mementoes.

Although they parted in 1820, Anne kept Elisa's portrait hanging in her room into her old age.

The box below and its contents reflect the cultivated circles in which the Langtons moved in Britain and Europe. A card from the box has a small tab which, when activated, reveals Elisa's personal hand-written greeting to Anne.

Elisa von Traitteur, 1820
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Elisa von Traitteur, 1820
Anne Langton
Graphite on paper
Reference Code: F 1077-9-4-7
Archives of Ontario, I0008558


"Der Freundschaft geweihet" box ["Dedicated to the Remembrance of Friendship"]
"Der Freundschaft geweihet" box ["Dedicated to the Remembrance of Friendship"]
Reference Code: F 1077-12-0-1
Archives of Ontario, I0008578

Friendship momento [Signed: Elisa von Traitteur], [1820]
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Friendship momento [Signed: Elisa von Traitteur], [1820]
Reference Code: F 1077-12-0-1-4a
Archives of Ontario, I0008086

Friendship momento [Signed: Elisa von Traitteur], [1820] (2)
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Friendship momento [Signed: Elisa von Traitteur], [1820]
Reference Code: F 1077-12-0-1-4b
Archives of Ontario, I0008579


The Langtons' tour lasted far longer than the customary three-months; it exceeded five years. Even then, it ended only when the family business in Liverpool floundered and prosperity was at risk.

The Langton business had been left in the hands of a young nephew during Thomas's absence abroad. As economic uncertainties increased in Britain following the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1815), the Langton business, which specialized in importing hemp and flax for the manufacture of sail cloth, became particularly vulnerable. Thomas made a few brief visits to England in 1820 in an effort to bolster the company, but it became clear that his young nephew was insufficiently experienced to carry on the management. In January 1821, the Langtons - now in Paris, where Anne was studying the art of miniature painting - suddenly terminated their travels and headed home in an effort to avert complete financial disaster. The course of their lives was now forever changed.