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Wilton House from the South East (Wilton House, South East View across the River Nadder)
Collection of the Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House, Wilts. / The Bridgeman Art Library
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Wilton House from the South East (Wilton House, South East View across the River Nadder)
c.1758-60 (undated)
Oil on canvas
103.2 x 148.6 cm
40 5/8 x 58 1/2 in.
P76
On a warm summer evening Wilton House and the Palladian Bridge are seen in the middle distance across the River Nadder. By the river bank in the foreground is a group of three figures, one of whom is drawing. A man on his right leans on a spade and a woman holds a parasol on his left. Further to the left near two large trees two other men are fishing. In the distance three figures are silhouetted on the right side of the Palladian Bridge.
BI 1814 (172/176, 194/198 or 196/200, as View at Wilton/View of Wilton House); Birmingham 1948-49 (48); London 1949 (49); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (81a)
Commissioned by Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke, thence by descent
Signed on the tree lower left: RW [monogram, R reversed]
Wilton House, standing at the junction of the rivers Nadder and Wiley, was designed to the commission of the 4th Earl of Pembroke by John Webb, son-in-law of Inigo Jones. It was severely damaged by fire in 1647 or 1648 and the great Palladian south front, designed by Isaac de Caus (perhaps with some assistance from Jones), was rebuilt. The house was completed by 1656. The Palladian Bridge, visible at the water's extremity, was built in 1737 by Henry the 9th Earl with the help of Roger Morris. In the 18th century the house was one of the most popular on the tour circuit because of its romantic picturesque setting and its great art collection. Two of the major attractions were the richly decorated 'Single Cube' and 'Double Cube' rooms, the latter hung with portraits by Van Dyck. In 1758, 2,324 people came to see the house and only Stowe and Blenheim could boast more visitors. Wilton provided inspiration for at least three Georgian houses - Houghton, Hagley and Croome.
D352 Wilton House from the South East, Leeds Museums and Galleries
W. Watts, Seats of the Nobility and Gentry, published 20 May 1786, pl. LXXXII
See 'Links' tab
Four other views of Wilton painted for Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke (see 'Links' tab)
One of a series of five views of Wilton House that Wilson painted for the 10th Earl of Pembroke, whom he first met in Italy. The entire set is not likely to be later than 1760, when Lord Pembroke left Britain for two years of military service on the Continent.
Catalogue 1814, p. 21; N.R. Wilkinson Wilton House Pictures, 1907, vol. 2, p. 362, cat. 175 as School of Wilson; Waterhouse 1953, p. 177; WGC, pp. 87-88, 188-89, pl. 58b; S. Pembroke, A Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Collection at Wilton House, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 1968, p. 35, cat. 83, pl. 22; J. Harris, The Artist and the Country House, London 1979, pp. 276-77, pl. 298d; Solkin 1982, pp. 195-96
Wilton House, Wiltshire, England
The clock tower at the right of the building no longer exists in that form.
Unglazed. Cleaned in 1939. Relined 2006 by Richard Watkiss and restored by Simon Foulkes. In gilt frame with egg and dart pattern matching that of P80 Wilton House, South View from Temple Copse. Pentimenti round the woman's parasol and the artist's head in the foreground.
Kate Lowry has noted: Probably a white or pale grey ground. Tree foliage against sky touched with pink to render the evening light. Paint very thin in the house and lake, possibly due to overcleaning in the past. Some discoloured retouching in the reflection below the house. Foreground group of three figures are quite solidly painted and there is evidence of pentimenti around the head of the seated artist and the lady with the parasol. The bridge looks rather dark, possibly strengthened. Overall looks to be a good example of Wilson's own work.
10/08/2020