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Watercolour - Hierapolis - Natural Hot Spring. Phrygia
  • Hierapolis - Natural Hot Spring. Phrygia
    Schranz, Antonio Jr, born 1801
  • Enlarge image

Hierapolis - Natural Hot Spring. Phrygia

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Turkey (painted)

  • Date:

    1837 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Schranz, Antonio Jr, born 1801 (painter)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour over pencil

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Shell International and the Friends of the V&A

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2A, shelf DR109

Antonio Schranz was part of a family of artists of German origin who had settled in Malta in 1818. Working in Valletta, Antonio was described as `paesista e pittore di marina', that is, a landscape and marine artist. He collaborated with his elder brother Giovanni (1794-1882) in the family lithographic establishment which published prints after their watercolours, usually lettered `Schranz Brothers.’ From 1823-47 Antonio made at least ten voyages to the eastern Mediterranean and Egypt, often finding employment as a draughtsman to wealthy British travellers, such as Robert Pashley in 1834 and Viscount Castlereagh in 1842. Later, he also took up photography and produced picturesque scenes of Cairo as early as 1851.
This image of Hierapolis [modern Pamukkale in western Turkey] was intended as a kind of souvenir for the unidentified patron and traveller who employed Antonio in 1836-1837. As a generalised view, it is a forerunner of the picture postcard. In ancient times Hierapolis in Phrygia was a kind of spa, famous for the healing properties of its hot springs, and the temples built to accommodate the influx of worshippers. Below the pool of warm water depicted here are the famous white cliffs, formed into fantastic shapes by the rapid deposition of calcium carbonate from the mineral rich waters, flowing down into a series of shallow pools and forming stalactites. The Turks called the site Pamukkale, `cotton castle’ and it is now a major tourist attraction. The uninhabited area amongst the ruins around the pool, as painted by Schranz, is now covered with modern buildings. The Sacred Pool itself is now the swimming pool located inside the Pamukkale Hotel.

Physical description

Watercolour drawing of a landscape with ruins; figures relaxing by a hot spring in the foreground.

Place of Origin

Turkey (painted)


1837 (painted)


Schranz, Antonio Jr, born 1801 (painter)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour over pencil

Marks and inscriptions

On the back numbered 40, signed with initials A. S., inscribed with title and dated Janry 8th 1837


Height: 340 mm, Width: 510 mm

Object history note

According to Rodney Searight: - `bt fr J.Mackinnon, April 1970 £45'.

Historical context note

See B. Llewellyn, `Changing Views of the Middle East Watercolours from the Searight Collection', Antique Dealer & Collectors Guide, September 1983, p.51.
SD.932-SD.946 are all dated between December 1836 and September 1837. Most are mounted on cards bearing inscriptions in the same hand. They probably result from a journey made by the artist with an unknown patron. Customs records (Palace Archives, Valletta) reveal that he left Malta for Turkey in April 1836 and returned in December 1839. See D. Cutajar, `The Lure of the Orient The Schranzes, the Brockdorffs, Preziosi and other artists', Hyphen A journal of Melitensia and the Humanities, No.3, Vol.V, 1987.
Drawings from the same trip are in the Benaki Museum, Athens and in a private collection in Malta: see Cathedral Museum, Mdina, Malta, The Schranz Artists Landscape and Marine Painters in the Mediterranean (Active, XIX Century), 1987, pp.43, 59-63.

Descriptive line

Watercolour, `Hierapolis - Natural Hot Spring. Phrygia', 1837, by Antonio (Anton Jr. or Antoine) Schranz.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Charles Newton `Images of the Ottoman Empire', 2007, illustrated on page 40




Watercolour drawing

Subjects depicted

Amphitheatres; Springs (bodies of water); Ruins


Paintings; Landscapes; Entertainment & Leisure; Tourism & Travel


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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