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Lake Scene by Moonlight
Private Collection, England / Photograph by John Hammond
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Lake Scene by Moonlight
c.1752-56 (undated)
Black chalk, heightened with white on greenish-grey paper
370 x 267 mm
10 1/2 x 14 9/16 in.
Private Collection, England
By the light of the full moon, two boatmen stand beside a rocky arch and outcrop. On the distant shore beyond a river or lake are seen a windmill, a house and some trees and bushes. In the centre of the composition four birds fly upwards and towards the right, silhouetted against the glistening sky.
Exeter 1946 (13 - River Scene by Moonlight); Paris 1953 (90); Gainsborough's House 2014 (unnumbered)
Benjamin Booth; the Revd R.S.Booth; Elizabeth Booth and Marianne Booth (later Lady Ford); thence by descent
Unsigned; no inscription
[1] Inscribed: Marianne Ford
[3] Inscribed in Marianne Ford's hand: Wilson
The composition recalls seventeenth-century Dutch moonlight scenes by Aert van der Neer (?1603/4-1677) and others, probably known to Wilson from his apprentice years in London. Such nocturnes were later to become the stock-in-trade of British Romantic artists including Turner and Joseph Wright of Derby, who was also much influenced by Wilson's Italian landscapes.
Walpole Society 1998-I, p.20, BB47