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The White Monk (Untitled)
National Museum Wales, Cardiff
James Roberts (1725-1799) after Wilson
The White Monk (Untitled)
Published 25 August 1765
NMW A 11006
Landscape with two pilgrims praying at a wooden cross on the rocks at the right and a waterfall. In the left foreground two women sit beneath a tree, one turning to look at a figure passing on horseback in the centre. A town can be seen across the lake in the background.
Given by Major F. Treharne James, 1920
Lettered below image:
[1] L.l.: Richd. Wilson pinxt
[2] L.r.: Jas. Roberts sculpt
[3] L.c.: Engraved from the Original Picture Painted by Mr. Richard Wilson
[4] Published according to Act of Parliament by J. BOYDELL, Engraver in Cheapside,London. Augt. 25. 1765
[5 l.L.: No. 4
The subject and thence the meaning remain open to multiple interpretations. Solkin memorably explained its attraction as a moral landscape by an emblematic interpretation of the Platonic philosophical concept of concordia discors, or the harmonious union of opposing elements, where 'the chaotic multiplicity of nature has yielded to the ordering hand of art.' (Solkin 1982, p. 66). He saw the inclusion of monks on the promontory as reassurance of a world anchored in divinely ordained harmony and reinforcing the moral certitude and authority of the patrician class who patronised the artist.
E68 Anonymous after Wilson, The White Monk (Stafford Gallery), The British Museum
E70 Samuel Middiman after Wilson, The White Monk (Landscape with two Pilgrims praying at a wooden Cross on Rocks at the left), The British Museum
E72/22 Hastings after Wilson, The White Monk, The British Museum
P146 Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782), The White Monk - III, Private Collection
Old Accession Number: 20.86
Good condition overall. However the print was framed and hanging when viewed.