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Wilton House, South View from Temple Copse
Collection of the Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House, Wilts. / The Bridgeman Art Library
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782) and Studio
Wilton House, South View from Temple Copse
c.1758-60 (undated)
Oil on canvas
102.5 x 148.8 cm
40 3/8 x 58 9/16 in.
87
P80
In the middle distance the Palladian Bridge, built by the 9th Earl of Pembroke, crosses the River Nadder. In the far right distance is Salisbury Cathedral; to the left is North Hill. A seated woman, a child and a dog are seen below a large tree in the centre foreground and in front of them stands an estate worker with a shovel and a jug. There are reclining figures in the near distance and deer graze in the park. On North Hill an encampment of tents with redcoats may be seen, perhaps an allusion to the Seven Years' War (1756-63) in which Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke served from early 1760 with his regiment in Germany as Major-General in command of the Cavalry Brigade.
[?] BI 1814 (172/176, 194/198 or 196/200, as View at Wilton/View of Wilton House); Birmingham 1948-49 (52); London 1949 (51)
Painted for Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke; thence by descent
Said to be signed 'R.W.' [monogram, the R reversed] on tree, right but signature no longer visible in 2011
A hand other than Wilson's evidently finished the men standing and the large tree right. The middle ground is thinly painted in parts. The sky is drawn down to the horizon.
In the distance can be seen the casina and triumphal arch, which had been begun by May 1757 and probably finished by late 1758.
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One of a set of five views of Wilton painted for Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke
The present work and the four others featuring Wilton (P76, P77, P78 and P79) were commissioned for Pembroke House in Whitehall, where they hung with four views of the Earl's other seat, Westcombe, by George Lambert. John Harris has remarked that they belong to the 'gardenscaoe' tradition, with the house itself never shown in full but relegated to a secondary role. The underlying theme seems to be one of well-ordered leisure and tranquillity.
[?] Catalogue 1814, p. 21; N.R. Wilkinson, Wilton House Pictures, 1907, vol. 2, pp. 362-63, cat. 177, as School of Wilson; Waterhouse 1953, p. 177; WGC, pp. 87-8S, 189, pl. 60a; S. Pembroke, A Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Collection at Wilton House, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 1968, p. 36, cat. 87; J. Harris, The Artist and the Country House, London 1979, p. 276, pl. 298a
Wilton House, Wilton, Wiltshire, England.
Wilkinson states that a camp on the North Hill in the distance was visited by King George III in 1778 but it is likely that there were earlier camps there, especially in time of war.
Cleaned in 1935. Conserved by Simon Foulkes and relined by Richard Watkiss 2006. Kate Lowry has noted:
Oil on canvas, probably lined. Sky is quite finished and solidly painted compared to the landscape which is quite thinly painted over a warm brown underpaint. House and grounds are also thinly painted. Tree at left is based on the one in his oil sketch of Wilton House from the south-east, although painted with more contrast than Wilson's usual style.