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Studies and Designs by R. Wilson done in Rome in the Year MDCCLII - Front Cover
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Studies and Designs by R. Wilson done in Rome in the Year MDCCLII - Front Cover
Dated 1752
203 x 143 mm
8 x 5 5/8 in.
E.3586-1922
D53
Bought about 1922 from Miss Alice J. Bowles
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