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Studies and Designs done in Rome in the Year 1752, p. 2
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Studies and Designs done in Rome in the Year 1752, p. 2
1752
Black chalk on white paper
188 x 130 mm (volume: 203 x 143 mm)
8 x 5 5/8 in.
E.3586-1922
D53/2
Coastal scene, with a cross on a tall rock standing isolated a little way out to sea beyond a small boat with a single oarsman crossing in the left foreground. Two figures are seen on a flat rock near the base of the cliffside to the right - all within an etched rectangular border.
Bt about 1922 from Miss Alice J. Bowles
[1] Inscribed below the image, left: 'R.W.f.'
[2] Numbered below the image, right: 1
[3] Page numbered upper right corner: 2
[4] Indecipherable inscription at upper right corner of image
[5] Three trial shadings to lower right of image
E60/10 John Whessell after Wilson,Studies & Designs: Coastal Scene, with a Cross on a tall Rock out at Sea, The British Museum
E60/10A John Whessell after Wilsokn, Studies & Designs: Coastal Scene, with a Cross on a tall Rock out at Sea, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Wilson's commitment to landscape made soon after his arrival in Rome in late 1751 initiated a sustained burst of activity as a draughtsman which was to gain momentum over the next few years. One major piece of evidence for the seriousness with which he took his new career is provided by the pages of this surviving sketchbook from 1752. Although it contains a number of rapid sketches from nature and the antique, most of its leaves are filled with imaginary essays in landscape design, usually incorporating classical themes such as antique ruins but presented in a rococo manner, and, as noted by Solkin, 'using lazy curving forms and often capricious combinations of architectural motifs in a way that still recalls the works of Zuccarelli.' Increasingly, however, Wilson came to adopt a more naturalistic style.
Solkin 1982, pp. 152, 157
Only two sketchbooks by Wilson have survived - the present one (D53-D53/81) and D280-D280/33 Italian Sketchbook - Drawings, 1754, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
18/09/2017