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Studies and Designs done in Rome in the Year 1752, p. 26
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Studies and Designs done in Rome in the Year 1752, p. 26
1752
Black chalk on white paper
188 x 130 mm (volume: 203 x 143 mm)
8 x 5 5/8 in.
E.3586-1922
D53/26
View of the remains of an aqueduct jutting into a river from the left, seen from below, with two figures in a boat in the foreground and town buildings with a bridge in the background to the right - all within a rectangular border
Bt about 1922 from Miss Alice J. Bowles
[1] Numbered below image, lower right corner: 26
[2] Numbered, upper right corner of page: 26
E60/36 John Whessell Studies & Designs: A Ruined Aqueduct jutting into a River, The British Museum
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