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Landscape with Banditti: The Murder (A Rocky Landscape)
National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Landscape with Banditti: The Murder (A Rocky Landscape)
c.1754 (undated)
Black chalk and stump with white highlights on grey paper laid down on cream paper with blue applied border
283 x 404 mm
11 1/8 x 15 7/8 in.
NMW A 1884
Birmingham 1948-49 (95 - A Dramatic Composition); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (51); Tercentenary 2014 (53)
Commissioned by Thomas Jenkins for William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth; by descent to the 8th Earl; Christie's 29 January 1954 (27); bt Colnaghi on behalf of the National Museum of Wales
[1] Possible undecipherable mark lower left
[1] Old pencil upper right: 59
P50 Landscape with Banditti: The Murder, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
One of the 68 drawings commissioned by William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, from Wilson in Rome in 1754. As a genre scene, however, the subject is unique among the surviving 25 drawings and is noticeably complex in design, recalling the Sublime works of Salvator Rosa and his followers. It is thus related to several of Wilson's contemporary paintings representing exotic violence, such as P50 Landscape with Banditti: The Murder. However, the drawing appears to be later than the painting in date and its high degree of finish makes it almost certainly a presentation piece rather than a compositional study. Solkin reasonably proposed that Dartmouth might have come across a related oil in Wilson's studio and commissioned this drawing as a result.
Farington Diary, vol. 7, p. 2775 (1 June 1806); Farington Biographical Note p. 12; Ford 1948, fig. 9, p. 345, A Dramatic Composition; WGC, pp. 91, 157-58, pl. 13b; Solkin 1982, p. 172; Clark & Bowron 1985, p. 267 under cat. 195; Wilson and Europe 2014, p. 244
All the 25 surviving Dartmouth drawings have numbers in graphite on the back, ranging (with gaps) from 23 to 61, thus supporting the original total of 68 given by Farington.
Flattened horizontal fold visible about halfway up image