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Study of Trees
© Private Collection, England / Photograph Courtesy of Sotheby's
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Study of Trees
Black chalk and stump heightened with white on grey paper
515 x 375 mm
20 1/4 x 14 3/4 in.
Private Collection, England
The trees may have been in the vicinity of Lake Nemi, which Wilson is known to have visited at this time
London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (53); Sudbury 1991 (7)
Purchased in the 1970s
Inscribed in a modern hand, lower right: Wilson
Two illegible words lower left
[1] Backboard upper right, white chalk: [illegible letters] 52
Inscription by a different old hand lower centre: Gainsborough
Verso on backboard:
[1] Upper left: four modern saleroom labels
[2] Upper right: modern saleroom label
[3] Lower right: Red exhibition label
[4] Lower right: Two Gainsborough's House exhibition labels
[5] Lower right: modern saleroom label
The area round Lake Nemi was famous for its trees
D245 'Arbra Santa' on the Banks of Lake Nemi (Study of an Ancient Tree), Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
As Solkin has noted, this is one of Wilson's most sensitive studies of trees. Wilson had made considerable progress in his command of the chalk medium by the time he left Italy. It was only towards the end of his stay that he was able to handle this chosen technique with such subtlety and refinement.
Solkin 1982, p. 174
The paper has an old flattened horizontal fold about three fifths up