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Landscape Composition - An Italian Garden
National Galleries of Scotland / Photography by Antonia Reeve
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Landscape Composition - An Italian Garden
1754
Pen and brown ink, black chalk and stump on white paper, inlaid
162 x 137 mm
6 3/8 x 5 3/8 in.
D 4665
D278
Three figures are grouped next to a monumental urn on a plinth in the foreground. One, holding a spear or staff, is nude, the others clothed in classical attire. Other figures, also dressed all'antica are seen in the middle distance. The scene is framed by several overhanging trees on the left and a scattering of poplars to the right.
London, Burlington Fine Arts Club 1916 (52); London 1925 (87); Manchester 1925 (47 - Landscape Composition)
Herbert Horne; Sir Edward Marsh; presented through the National Art-Collections Fund, 1953
Signed and dated lower left in ink beneath the urn: R.W. 1754
The mixture of ink and stump is a rather rare medium for Wilson (see Ford 1951, p. 26)
[1] The catalogue entry for the London 1916 Burlington Fine Arts Club exhibition is adhered to the modern mount
D317 The Temple of Minerva Medica, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven
P69 Ego fui in Arcadia, Private Collection, England
The figures in the foreground seem intended as ancient Romans. Brinsley Ford observed that the marble urn on the left was used again to provide a compositional accent in another drawing of 1754, D317 The Temple of Minerva Medica, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven. The underlying theme of ancient pastoral melancholy was treated again by the artist the following year in P69 Ego Fui in Arcadia, Private Collection, England).
Ford 1951, p. 55, pl. 29; Baker 2011, pp. 414-15 & 416 repr.
A very similar urn to that shown on the wall at the left appears in D317